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Diamonds and Pearls

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The delayed release of The Great Gatsby from before Christmas until next week has only added to the interest in Baz Lurhmann’s film. But forget the star cast, what we really want to see are the costumes. There isn’t a more alluring, not to mention, photogenic fashion era than the roaring twenties with its drop waists, handkerchief hems, diamonds and pearls, beading and sequins, fringing and feathers.

Luhrmann’s wife, the Oscar winning costume designer Catherine Martin, collaborated with Tiffany & Co, Prada and Brooks Brothers on the designs. A scene stealer is the Savoy (above), an exquisite headdress of diamonds and cultured pearls worn by lucky Carey Mulligan as Daisy. 

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Other designs based on the Tiffany archives include an elongated, pearl tassel necklace, a diamond and pearl hand decoration and pearl drop earrings.

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The reference is authentic. F Scott Fitzgerald himself was a customer and Louis Comfort Tiffany, the brand’s first design director, mixed in the Long Island circles described in The Great Gatsby.

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Inspired by the film, Tiffany has designed a fashion jewellery range, the Ziegfeld Collection, which goes in store from this month while a fine jewellery range, The Great Gatsby, will comprise pieces seen in the film. Exclusive pieces such as the Savoy headdress will feature in Tiffany’s ultra high end Blue Book collection and while not carried at the Asia based stores will be available for special order.  

For the women’s costumes, Miuccia Prada looked to her Prada and Mui Mui archives and updated some 40 of her designs. The results are spectacular: a fringed dress shimmies with gold sequins, a petrol blue tulle sparkles with Swarovski crystals, a raw cut hem sways on a crepe double satin dress. 

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Necklines are plunging V’s or halter, suspended by impossibly delicate spaghetti straps. Hemlines are knee length or trailing to the ankle at the back still revealing the front of the legs. 

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So the whole look never appears too fancy dress, accessories are modernised with dyed stripes on fur stoles and Mary Jane shoes given multiple straps.

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Alas none of these beautiful creations will be available to buy but some can be viewed at an exhibition in the Shanghai and Tokyo Prada stores this summer.

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