Gucci HouseRidley Scott’s latest film chronicles the tensions that mount between the family behind the iconic luxury brand as they battle each other for control of its ultimate legacy in a story that includes scandal, betrayal and even murder.
On November 24, the film is based on the true story of the Gucci family, adapted from the book of the same name by Sarah Gay Forden. At the heart of the film is Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), the heir to the company whose uncle and cousin struggle for more power in the brand, and his lavish and devoted wife, Patricia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), who deals with the annoyance. On their own when their marriage begins to fall apart.
But don’t let the high-octane drama make you forget that this is a movie about one of the most fashionable breeds. Gucci House Filled with looks that excel in everything like the Gucci family’s antics, from delicately tailored suits and ornate dresses to oversized jewelry and over-sized hair.
The movie’s costume designer, Janty Yates, told TIME that she created 500 costumes for the movie as she set out to create a wardrobe for one of the fashion industry’s most affluent and elegant families. “It was amazing,” she says. “I’ve never had such an opportunity in my life.”
Yeats, who works frequently with Scott and won an Academy Award for her costume design for his 2000 film, the gladiator, ready to equip Guccis by researching not only the real-life counterparts of characters like Patrizia, a famous dress mare with a fondness for bling bling, but the history of the brand itself. After reading the script, Yates visited the Gucci Museum in Florence, the city where the company was started. Later, the brand offered access to Gucci’s archives, resulting in two archival looks (Gucci’s famous Double G leggings suit and the same-print silk blouse, paired with a leather skirt) used in the film.
In the film, costumes play an important role in showing the characters’ narrative arcs. Lady Gaga’s Patricia, styled by Scott after Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, started the movie with women’s dresses and sweater sets, introducing ladylike style in the early days of her engagement to Maurizio. But Patricia, determined to marry into Milan’s social elite circles, is far from sober. Yates says she tried to convey that tension in a scene in which Patrizia wears an oversized dress and high heels to work for her father’s truck company, which made her enjoy much of her father’s staff.
“We wanted to show her a more naive, innocent look, when she seduces Maurizio,” says Yates. “She looks so cute and innocent, but she wears a green va-va-voom high-heeled dress when she goes to work and she knows the effect it has on her father’s business drivers. She’s not without cunning.”
Once married into the Gucci family, Patrizia’s outfits become more luxurious and ostentatious – a reflection of her new life full of luxury. Realist Patrizia was known for her lavish costumes, especially her love of wearing a lot of outrageously fancy jewelry, which Yates believes was key to making Gaga’s look for the movie look realistic.
“Anyone who wants to dress like Patrizia has to wear jewelry,” she said. “It was the jewels that really stamped it. You know, she had big earrings and a lot of necklaces instead of her subtle style and flair.”
While Gaga’s Patrizia is obsessed with Gucci’s eponymous product, Yates found that real-life Patrizia preferred wearing other brands like Yves Saint Laurent during her heyday as Lady Gucci. While Patrizia was living on board as Maurizio’s wife, Gucci was more known for her accessories and leather goods and her clothes were more subtle; To express this, Yates relied on Dominic Young, the cutter, who created bespoke costumes that resembled YSL dresses and Chanel suits of the time.
Yates also found a kinship with Lady Gaga, a prominent fashionista, with whom she collaborated on her wardrobe, even going so far as to provide her personal clothing archive for Yates’ use. In keeping with her character, Gaga also requested that there be no repeat costumes in scenes in the 54 days of her scripts, which resulted in a total of 65 costume changes. Adam Driver almost made many changes in Maurizio’s playing – Yates created the 40’s jumpsuit with the help of tailor Savile Row and Italian brand Zegna, from the gray and dark blue suits of his earlier days to the more luxurious velvet styles of his later years, as Maurizio takes control of the Gucci brand.
“[Gaga] Refuse to repeat anything. “Even the earrings, so everything we were picking up in that scene in the morning would be put away and then we would start again with different jewelry, different dress, and everything different,” Yates said. “And I did the same, more or less, with Adam, because they were that rich – they didn’t have to wear the same clothes.”
In addition to equipping the Gucci family, Yates was responsible for showing how the Gucci brand had evolved in the time period covered in the film, and creating looks that demonstrated the brand’s sophisticated but more traditional introduction at the beginning of the film to its superlative image. An exciting revamp under the creative direction of Tom Ford at the conclusion of the film. While the film focuses primarily on the fall of the House of Gucci, and ends with the family exiting the brand they built, Yates says the family’s legacy is reflected in the way Gucci has been able to reinvent itself and endure – and remains popular to this day.
“You’ll never see Billie Eilish wear anything other than Gucci,” she says. “Look at Harry Styles, everyone is soaked in Gucci from head to toe.”