Janty Yates‘ first film with Ridley Scott, 2000’s “Gladiator,” earned her an Oscar for Best Costume Design and she has been the director’s go-to costume designer since. However, it wasn’t Scott who introduced “House of Gucci” to Yates, but rather his wife, producer Giannina Scott, about 20 years ago.
“It certainly did the rounds, this movie, because Giannina would come on set and she’d be talking to Ridley about it and I’d go, ‘Don’t forget me! Don’t forget me!'” Yates tells Gold Derby during our Meet the Experts: Film Costume Design panel (watch above). “And then it would go away for a couple of years and it would come back and go around directors at Ridley Scott’s company. … Then it came back two years ago and I kept saying to Giannina, ‘Don’t forget about me!’ And they very kindly allowed me to have a go at it.”
Based on Sara Gay Forden‘s 2001 book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed,” “House of Gucci” follows Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) as she marries into the Gucci family through Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). The couple’s marriage unravels through the ’80s and ’90s as they battle Maurizio’s family, including uncle Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and cousin Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), for control of the fashion brand.
The Gucci brand itself was very helpful to Yates in her research, opening up its archive’s doors, as did other costume houses. As Yates notes, the real Patrizia did not wear Gucci a lot; her brand of choice was Yves Saint Laurent. “I had access to archives. I had access to the Gucci archive and I went to Florence and we looked at that. And then we sent it to L.A. It fit LG like a glove — all of the archive extraordinarily — and then the costume houses in Rome, three of them, had wonderful archives as well,” she says. “Plus, LG opened up her archive, which was amazing. A lot of it not quite suitable, as you can imagine.”
When it came to outfitting Gaga, Yates did not want to repeat a single look — and she did not as Gaga wears 54 different costumes in the film. A bulk of the movie takes place in the ’80s, but the team was careful not to style Patrizia in stereotypical gaudy fashions of the decade. And when Gaga announced that she would like Patrizia to look like her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in an elegant Italian lady way, that opened new doors for Yates.
“I compiled a Joan Collins file for Ridley because we thought that would be it for Patrizia. And he went, ‘No.’ He didn’t want to go that extreme,” Yates shares. “He wanted a Gina Lollobrigida look and I was slightly nervous to mention this to LG. But on our first Zoom with Ridley and Giannina Scott, she announced that she wanted to look like her mother and that was just brilliant because that gave us a lot more area to play in, in fact. And she didn’t even once mention the meat dress!”
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