The hype around Gucci House sparkles like a shaken bottle of champagne since the start of filming. More early this year and fueled the excitement among fashion fans were hungry for cinematic candy and red carpet. Vanity Fair declared it “the most fascinating movie you have ever seen”.
âIt was total madness,â costume designer Janty Yates said of the press and photographers hanging out during the shoot. âIt was just crazy everyday. I said to the producer, ‘We have to get rid of the press, there are press people in that turret over there.’ But he said, ‘Why stop him? All publicity is good publicity. And he was right, the word paparazzi is Italian after all. Lady Gaga didn’t care.
Indeed, Gaga was increasing the anticipation. In March, she posted an Instagram image of herself and Driver in 1980s jet-set aprÃ¨s-ski outfits: her in a polo collar, fur hat and gold necklaces, he in a cable-knit sweater. the color of the fresh snow in the Alps. By October, these chalet looks were adopted as Halloween costumes. So far so fabulous, but do the costumes really communicate that decadent dollop of The good life we all want? Like the grumpy Sex and the city 2 demonstrated, fabulous clothes alone won’t hold a movie.
Fortunately, Gucci House, directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from the enthralling book by Sara Gay Forden (first published in 2000 and republished to coincide with the film) is also the dramatic story of a family scrambling for power, passion, betrayal, excess and brutal revenge. Think Shakespeare meets Succession, with logos.
It is based on the true story of how Patrizia Reggiani, who worked for her father’s trucking company, met Maurizio Gucci at a party in Milan in 1970, then married him in 1972 against the will of Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo, who suspected (rightly so) that she was a social climber. The couple moved to New York City, got involved in running Gucci, and lived the designer’s dream until the family quarreled over running the business. The couple’s relationship imploded, they divorced and in 1995 she hired a hitman to murder her.
In the film, Patrizia’s wardrobe tells the story of her character’s evolution from a socially ambitious single woman – or stingy, depending on your perspective – to a luxury diva and an angry, wronged wife. Yates, who worked on several films with Scott, including Gladiator and Annibal, says: âPatrizia had Joan Collins’ taste for jewelry. She was soaked in jewelry. However, Ridley’s initial memoir. . . was that he wanted her more sober, more Gina Lollobrigida rather than Joan Collins in Dynasty. “
Patrizia gets more and more expensive and extravagant as the movie progresses. When we first meet her in the early 1970s, her clothes are sexy but a bit simple – for first dates with Maurizio, she wears a brown shirt dress with white polka dots, and later a belted trench coat. checkered with a rather bourgeois Italian housewife’s scarf. In the 1980s and early 1990s, she was in maximum fashion: body-hugging gathered dresses, boxy jackets, extravagant fur coats, and enough gold to give a Medici a minimalist look.
The real Patrizia was known for her extravagance. In the 1970s her chauffeured car bore the “Mauizia” license plate, combining the names of the powerful couple, and she once said that she would “cry in a Rolls-Royce rather than be happy on a bicycle “. In the 1980s, the couple bought a 208-foot yacht that once belonged to Greek tycoon Stavros Niarchos, which Patrizia had exorcised by a psychic because, Forden writes in The Gucci house, she considered that the tragic death of two of Niarchos’ wives had “cast a negative aura on the boat”.
Other costume changes occurred spontaneously. In the scene where Patrizia first meets Maurizio, at the Milan party, Yates recounts how Scott challenged Gaga’s ankle-length red satin dress, exclaiming, “I don’t want that, I want to see legs. ” So we put it on a crate of apples and we cut 18 inches off the bottom of the dress there and then, with five camera teams standing over there drumming, and then we shot the scene. Only Ridley would do that.
As for Lady Gaga’s involvement in her costumes, âshe was so on the spot, we had over 60 hours of fittings, which is a lot. She would live every scene, she would say, “This dress winked at me off the rails.” Gaga has contributed to the growing bling-nificence of her character by asking for more bracelets and brooches. This suited Yates very well because she “wanted to make it a little over the top.” Gaga, she confirms, “was in character in the fittings. She was kind of taken care of, which isn’t a bad thing.
Lady Gaga had 54 costume changes and didn’t want to repeat anything, not even a belt. The clothes included a mix of replicas and new outfits made by cutter Dominic Young and his team, who exactly copied “about eight or nine” looks. Patrizia’s wedding dress isn’t historically accurate – the duplicate looked too “plain and simple,” so they created a more glamorous version. The costume team also visited vintage stores and costume houses like Tirelli in Rome (which supplied costumes for films including Death in Venice and Marie Antoinette), while Boucheron and Bulgari loaned part of the jewelry, Lady Gaga loaned clothes from her own collection and Gucci granted access to her archives.
Maurizio’s crisp Savile Row-style suits were crafted by New York tailor Leonard Logsdail, who worked on Succession, and also by Zegna. Even in the 1980s, they remain quite fitted and stylish.
The real star of the film is, of course, Gucci. While the brand had no creative involvement beyond lending items and getting permission to shoot in the Rome store, it capitalized on that momentum by hosting a recent parade on Hollywood Boulevard and dressing the stars Lady Gaga and Salma Hayek for some of the film’s premieres.
The vision of a family competing for control – and the tragic end – does not tarnish the brand, especially since it no longer belongs to the fractured family. A pair of Gucci loafers once worn by Cary Grant take the lead, the camera lingering on their proud golden mesh. As Maurizio warns, âGucci is like a cake. You have a taste, and then you want more. Gucci House: the tale of morality meets the advertising campaign. And very entertaining.
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