Baz Luhrmann: "I'd Like to Say That I Read The Great Gatsby in High School, But I Didn't"

This morning, I joined my all-time favorite filmmaking duo, director Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin of Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet fame, for breakfast at Tiffany's—literally. While members of the press nibbled smoked salmon tea sandwiches and mini croissants, husband-and-wife duo Luhrmann and Martin fielded questions about their latest project, a 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby that you may have heard a little something about in recent months.

The morning also marked the grand unveiling of Tiffany & Co.'s Gatsby-themed window displays, designed in collaboration with Martin herself. Now on display at the iconic jeweler's Fifth Avenue NYC flagship, the windows feature dazzling mini chandeliers, overflowing champagne goblets, animated fireworks and reproductions of a '20s-era Manhattan skyline. But the real draw of the displays, of course, is the jewelry—pearl- and diamond-encrusted headbands, handpieces and cocktail rings co-created by Martin in honor of the film.

After managing to scrape our jaws off the floor—seriously, this jewelry has to be seen to be believed—we learned a few new things about Luhrmann and Martin's forthcoming film, and the blindingly beautiful baubles you'll soon be able to see onscreen. Read on!

  • Baz Luhrmann saw The Great Gatsby, the movie before he ever read The Great Gatsby, the book. "I'd like to say, like the rest of you, that I read it in high school—but I didn't," he admitted to the crowd. In fact, he's been fascinated by Jay Gatsby's story ever since seeing the 1974 Robert Redford film as a preteen. At the time, Luhrmann says Redford was "the coolest human being [he'd] ever seen."
  • It took 10 tries to get Jay Gatsby's ring right. Or rather, the special signet ring Leonardo DiCaprio wears as Gatsby in the new film—which happens to be secretly engraved with a daisy design to symbolize his love for (who else?) Daisy Buchanan. Martin and Luhrmann confessed that the piece went through countless revisions until it was 100 percent perfect.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for subtle daisy references throughout the movie. In addition to the aforementioned signet ring, the stunning gem-encrusted headband Daisy wears in the movie (part of the Tiffany capsule collection) also features tiny flowers—yet another nod to its wearer's name.
  • People need to stop freaking out about the idea of seeing Gatsby in 3D. "There'll be a lot of talk about the 3D, a lot of talk about the modern music," Luhrmann acknowledged. "But remember—a long time ago [in 1954], Hitchcock made Dial M for Murder in 3D! 3D is actually a great medium for drama." If the Master of Suspense approves, it's all good in our book.
  • If she could choose any design from Tiffany's Gatsby collection to keep, Martin wouldn't go for the flashiest statement pieces. "I'd pick the rose cocktail ring with the yellow diamond," she said. Wait—not the headband? Can I have that one, then?

Click through for photos of Tiffany & Co.'s The Great Gatsby-themed windows. Do you think they do the Jazz Age justice?

All photos courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

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