The 2013 film The Great Gatsby, costumed by Catherine Martin, at first glance seems to show the luxurious and vivacious nature of twenties fashion – the trailer reveals a taste of Daisy Buchanan’s luxurious wardrobe, which boasts cloche hats, hair adornments, fur wraps and elegant flapper-style dresses. However, modern films tend to interpret twenties fashion in a much more contemporary way. One must put into consideration the materials these dresses were made with, the style and amount of makeup put onto the actors and actresses, and the overall style of the costume design, since modern interpretation goes for flashy over historical accuracy.
Historian Jacqueline WayneGuite gives her opinion on the historical accuracy of The Great Gatsby‘s costume design:
To be clear, I can tell from the trailer that these costumes are not period accurate. They all look like contemporary fashion interpreting 1920s Halloween costumes. The hair and makeup look like they’re from the present day. The architecture and interior design look much too contemporary to even pretend to be from the 20s. The colors are a bit too bright and the sparkle is a bit too computer generated … Instead it looks like one of those stylized, postmodern films.
Because the film is set in 1922, the style of clothing should be on the conservative side of twenties fashion—as the decade progressed, hemlines moved upward. The women of the early twenties certainly did not flout skirts as short as those worn in the later years of the twenties.
Although the makeup worn in the movie seems more intense due to contemporary influences, the gist of it still speaks for the 1920s. Smokey eyes, lined brows, deep, dark lips in red, orange or plum in the trademark cupid’s bow shape, and creamy complexions were in.
Men’s fashion, on the other hand, seems to be portrayed accurately. Shorter jackets were in style: no more tails or long coats. Pants were no longer tapered, but styled for comfort. All of these components seem to be reflected in The Great Gatsby.