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April 18 2014

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2 posts tagged "New York Public Library"

Luhrmann Gets Grilled on Gatsby

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“I wanted the audience to feel like the people who read Gatsby in the twenties,” said director Baz Luhrmann during yesterday’s intimate luncheon and discussion of The Great Gatsby at the New York Public Library. “Back then, it was dangerous and of the moment.” Following a string of stylish events and a splashy New York premiere worthy of any Fitzgerald novel, the event was a scholarly affair hosted by Anna Wintour, NYPL President Tony Marx, and editor in chief of The New Yorker, David Remnick. The latter moderated a Q&A with the film’s star-studded cast and crew.

Just steps from the library’s trove of Fitzgerald first editions, the film’s stars, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and Carey Mulligan (DiCaprio was absent), offered insight into playing some of literature’s most memorable characters. “Daisy became a cocktail of a lot of research,” revealed Mulligan, who plumbed Princeton’s archives for the author’s intimate correspondence with muses Zelda Fitzgerald and Ginevra King. “I fell in love with these two women. The more I read their words, the more real Daisy became.” Fisher, who plays the down-on-her-luck Myrtle Wilson, admitted that her character’s capricious tendencies were hardly far-fetched. “I often play a floozy,” the Australian starlet deadpanned in a Chloé ensemble.

But perhaps the keenest observation came from the film’s scorer, Jay-Z, who was the first to see a rough cut. “We went to lunch afterward, and Jay told me, ‘The thing about this movie is that it’s aspirational,’” recalled Luhrmann. “I think he really nailed it. With Gatsby, everybody thinks of the parties, the fashion, and the champagne. I do hope the movie has a lot of razzle-dazzle, but ultimately it’s a book about hope.”

Photo: Courtesy photo

Quiet, Please

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For its first New York fashion week presentation, do-gooding eyewear line Warby Parker summoned showgoers to 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. But the destination wasn’t Bryant Park, as of old; it was, oddly enough, the New York Public Library. In the Main Reading Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, patrons thumbed books as usual. Or not quite as usual. Along two tables at the back, rows of bespectacled men and women read tomes with matching, bright blue colors.

The motley crew of models—some professional, some friends of the brand, including stylist Aya Kanai and Tumblr fashion director Rich Tong—showed off the new collection of optical glasses, shades, and one monocle. The books they were reading identified the individual frames: Everett for a square, Clark Kent-ish style, and Monroe for a circular, sixties shape.

The presentation—which was technically rogue, having not been cleared by the powers of the New York Public Library—was a homecoming of sorts. “We came up with the name Warby Parker from an exhibit at the library,” Dave Gilboa, who co-founded the line with Neil Blumenthal, explained. (It’s derived from two names taken from Jack Keroauc’s writings and diaries, which were on display.)

Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti of Partners & Spade helped put the event together and were on hand to (quietly) take it in. Is this the first illegal installation they’d engineered, we wondered? “No,” said Sperdutti, “but it’s one of the better ones.” And if the law intervenes? “Neil’s gonna take the fall,” Gilboa laughed.

Photo: Courtesy of Warby Parker