Fashion says goodbye Mad Men, hello Gatsby

The sumptuous-looking drama by The Sopranos's Terence Winter and Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, which charts the birth and rise of organised crime in the US and features suited gangsters and flapper-wearing molls, is already affecting fashion trends.

At the autumn-winter collection shows in Paris last week, dozens of labels, from Miu Miu to John Galliano, referenced the Roaring Twenties with drop-waisted dresses, long, lean silhouettes, opulent beading and sequins, and fur coats and stoles.

At this week's Melbourne Fashion Festival, 1920s looks are set to be among the key trends on the autumn-winter catwalks.

Fashion designer Aurelio Costarella's collection, to be showcased at the festival on Friday night, is awash with 1920s-style gowns. ''[It] was a time when women were freed from their corsets,'' he says. ''It was about comfort and loose-fitting shapes that fell over the body. They wore these beautiful, flimsy fabrics that showed off boyish figures.''

The androgynous, straight-up-and-down silhouette of the 1920s did, however, require some women to wear chest-flattening bras.

Melbourne Fashion Festival director Grant Pearce says he is not surprised by the influence of Boardwalk Empire, as costumes in period films and quality television series have often filtered into fashion trends.

Designer Arthur Galan, who will showcase his collection on Tuesday night, says Boardwalk Empire is also influencing menswear. ''That whole decadent, dressed-up look for men is very much coming back,'' says Galan. ''We're seeing three-piece suits, rich fabrics like velvet and big, bow ties. It's about looking like a gentleman with a bit of underground chicness.'