Great Gatsby fatigue is already setting in, and the film isn’t even out yet, but there is one genuine slice of Jazz Age that we can all be grateful for: Brooks Brothers’ new wardrobe of official GG threads…
Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
“He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many coloured disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher – shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.’”
As F. Scott Fitzgerald hammered out these famous lines in the mid-1920s for his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, he could well have been thinking of Brooks Brothers’ very own “beautiful shirts”. America’s oldest retailer, the siblings set up in NYC in 1818 and were the first to offer ready to wear, seersucker, the button-down shirt and the non-iron shirt. Arguably, Jay Gatsby would have owned a fair few of their pieces, in his opulent gaff on West Egg.
Doubly appropriate, therefore, that not only are Brooks serving as the ofﬁcial menswear clothing partner for Baz Luhrmann’s new ﬁlm (released 16th May in the UK), but they’re also releasing a simply divine limited-edition menswear collection inspired by the costumes – from formalwear to daywear, including tuxedos, sports jackets, boaters, braces and, yes, beautiful tailored shirts.
“Brooks Brothers is mentioned numerous times in Fitzgerald’s writings as a representation of the ultimate gentleman’s purveyor of ﬁne clothing to the American man of distinction,” states Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, whose credits as costume designer and production designer include Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge!
Brooks Brothers manufactured more than 500 ensembles for the ﬁlm.
Working from Martin’s designs for the production’s male principal, secondary and background cast, Brooks Brothers manufactured more than 500 ensembles for the ﬁlm, many of which are based on Twenties designs from the BB archive.
At the same time, Brooks Brothers have adapted Ms Martin’s strikingly theatrical, period-inspired costumes for the ﬁlm into ultra-sharp modem menswear pieces. “It is a reﬂection of the immediacy and modernity of Fitzgerald’s work that the clothes in this movie based on his work can ﬁnd a modern reinterpretation in this new collection,” states Martin. “The result is an exciting blend of classic sartorialism and Jazz Age ﬂamboyance.”
You can say that again. We at Prodigal Towers are especially enamoured by a particular pair of penny loafers with bold white panels and brown wingtips, actually made in England by Brooks’ in-house shoe label, Peal & Co.
As Fitzgerald wrote, “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
More information from the Brooks Brothers website or Tel: +44 20 3238 0030
Putting On The Fitz
Brooks Brothers, costumier tot the Great Gatsby movie, is enthused with the spirit of the Jazz Age in its latest collection.
All photos courtesy of Brooks Brothers.
Alex is a lifestyle journalist and watch designer (who hasn't heard of the iconic Royal Doak?) who cut his teeth at watch magazine QP, and now writes on watches etc. for titles as diverse as Wired, FT and Men's Health. When he's not creating classic timepieces or penning articles for these illustrious titles, he somehow finds time to edit Drive for H.R. Owen, too. Young Alex is also a proud Blue Peter badge holder and occasional unicyclist.
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