British designer reveals how she turned Lady Gaga into Patrizia Reggiani for new Gucci film
Dripping with glamor and betrayal and based on a true story, the House Of Gucci has been buzzing movie and fashion fans alike.
From a virginal wedding dress to sizzling ski wear, the film’s lead actress – Lady Gaga as jealous Patrizia Reggiani, who hired a hit man to kill her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci – sends a veritable catwalk of style stumbling onto the big screen.
Ahead of today’s release, Oscar-winning British costume designer Janty Yates exclusively reveals the secrets that turned Lady Gaga into ‘the Black Widow’…
1: SHORT TO STYLE
First impressions count, and the dress Patrizia wore when she met Maurizio Gucci at a party is a belt, based on a pink dress the real Patrizia wore.
It was made from duchess satin and took six weeks to fit by Janty’s costume cutter, Dominic Young.
Originally the dress was much longer – 18 cm higher at the request of Ridley Scott.
Janty says: ‘We had five camera crews waiting that day, luckily LG [as she calls Lady Gaga] brought her husband from New York, who was the most amazing hand sewer and had the most stable hands of all of us.
The dress worn by Lady Gaga’s Patrizia (right) when she met Maurizio Gucci at a party is a belt, based on a pink dress the real Patrizia wore (left)
“So we put her on an apple box and got a really sharp pair of scissors!”
Patrizia Reggiani was the queen of bling and never chose one piece of jewelry when half a dozen would suffice.
For much of the film, Janty used 20 trays of costume jewelry, but for big occasions, guards from the higher end jewelers Bulgari or Boucheron came on set with the real thing: on this occasion diamonds and rubies from Bulgari.
2: LOGO A GOGO
Janty and her team had access to the entire treasure trove of the Gucci archive for the film.
It was Gaga’s idea to wear Gucci branded head-to-toe to a meeting where Patrizia discovers her maid has a fake Gucci handbag, triggering a scene where she goes to 42nd Street in New York and berates the salesman.
Lady Gaga in logo-adorned head-to-toe Gucci in scene berating fake bag seller
“LG thought, and I agreed, she should be totally into Gucci,” says Janty.
The second scene in which the star wore Gucci shows her in a logo print blouse and a leather miniskirt, on the day she is served with divorce papers during her daughter’s sports day.
3: ALTAR PICTURE
Eight to ten weeks in the making, the cathedral veil wedding dress was Janty’s favorite design, a “labor of love,” the lace all painstakingly sewn by hand.
With its sweetheart neckline, high-low hem and lace sleeves, it’s not a copy of Patrizia’s floor-length, high-necked dress – although Janty had a replica made.
Eight to ten weeks in the making, the cathedral veil wedding dress was Janty’s favorite design, a ‘labor of love’, the lace all painstakingly sewn by hand (pictured)
“We didn’t make a decision until today,” says Janty. “Her hair and makeup team, her manager, me and my dressers — we all said, ‘This one has to be it.’
4: DRESSED TO KILL
In this scene, Patrizia is dressed to kill (though not literally) in vintage Yves Saint Laurent, rented from one of the three Italian costume houses that Janty has deployed, along with a vintage mink coat.
The red slingbacks were designed by Janty and made in Rome, by theatrical shoemaker Pompei.
Janty says, “I had four or five different designs that we sent to LA and she put a few on and said, ‘God, I love these shoes — have them made in any color!’
In this scene, Patrizia played by Gaga is dressed to kill (though not literally) in vintage Yves Saint Laurent
Gaga’s Patrizia wears 54 different costumes in the film, but never repeats a single item.
‘She would come in a fitting; we made about ten adjustments, not counting the Zoom adjustments when we couldn’t move [due to Covid restrictions].
“She’d come in, we’d go over the scene, we’d have all of our vintage there, she’d say ‘I like that one’ and then we’d do every single item of jewelry, shoes, bags for that particular scene — and then she’d never wear it again.’
5: LADY IN LACE
Gaga’s Patrizia could have been a Joan Collins Dynasty affair, but director Sir Ridley Scott wanted a slightly more discreet look, in the style of 1950s Italian film siren Gina Lollobrigida.
Gaga stunned in a white lace backless dress during a Gucci family gathering scene
The strapless silk lace dress and jacket the star wears to a Gucci family gathering on the shores of Lake Como pays tribute to an outfit Lollobrigida wore, and was created by Dominic Young.
“LG said she really wanted to dress like her Italian mother did back then, so we took that as a starting point,” says Janty.
6: ICE MAIDEN
When Lady Gaga tweeted this Alpine image in March, captioned “Signore e Signora Gucci,” the internet went wild.
Dressed all in black for the slopes, save for lashings of gold costume jewelry and a white chinchilla fur hat, she looked like the perfect mean woman.
Co-stars Adam Driver, as Maurizio Gucci, and Camille Cottin, the French actress who plays his lover at the time of his death, were originally intended to wear fur hats as well, before Lady Gaga declared them off-limits.
Dressed for the slopes all in black, save for lashings of gold costume jewelry and a white chinchilla fur hat, Gaga looks like the perfect mean woman (pictured with co-star Adam Driver)
Janty says, ‘Ma’am said, ‘She’s not wearing a fur hat – I’m going to have all the fur hats’.
True to her character, Gaga also wore the bulk of the jewels.
‘They [Patrizia] almost always wore huge earrings, a brooch, two or four bangles or bangles, she would wear two necklaces,” says Janty.
“All the costume jewelry we got from a jeweler for hire, Pikkio, in Rome—I cleaned them!”
7: DANCING QUEEN
Gaga dons a shiny green ensemble in a dance scene from the latest Gucci movie
The vibrant turquoise halterneck dress that Gaga’s Patrizia wears in a nightclub scene in the trailer was meticulously crafted by Janty’s team and accommodated a six-month baby bump for the character, who was pregnant with one of her two daughters at the time.
8: BLACK WIDOW
No wonder this picture of Lady Gaga was used in promotional images for the film. Her Patrizia makes funeral attire a style sensation in black from head to toe, except for a bold white costume jewelry necklace with matching bracelet and a shimmery lipstick.
Gaga looks chic in a silk black dress for a funeral scene
Janty says, “Dominic Young made three black dresses.
LG wears them all in the movie, but this one has such an interesting neckline.
“He made it out of silk and she was really happy to wear it and it just worked for this scene.”