The costuming of a film can make or break the entire cinematographic experience. It’s more than just the wardrobe that we see across the big screen, it tells a story that encompasses the past, present and often the future of the characters donning it. When it comes to films like House Of Gucci, costuming bore even more of an importance — I mean, come on, it literally is about one of the foremost fashion houses in the world. That’s why, it was integral that the person tasked with carrying out the responsibility could rise to the occasion. Janty Yates, known for her work with Gladiator, American Gangster, Miami Vice and countless others, undoubtedly did.
The obvious assumption would be that the Thanksgiving release would be brimming over with the brand that served as the catalyst for the film, but surprisingly, Yates tells ESSENCE that’s not case. “Basically I was given free reign,” Yates says. “Although we obviously were making a film about Gucci, we weren’t in bed with Gucci when it came to costume.” In fact, Yates revealed that it was actually a challenge to secure the brand’s offerings. “They opened up their archives eventually in October and I was allowed to look at them and then they shipped them to LA,” she continues — sharing that Lady Gaga was able to try them on for her role as Patrizia Reggiani. “They fit like gloves, and then we had to return them. So it was only really back in January when Robert Triefus of Gucci, who I’ve known since he was running Armani, intervened and said, ‘We must let them have them.'” Yates says that was kind of the only collaboration that production had with the luxury house, along with the retrieval of a few pairs of shoes.
Ironically, however, Reggiani didn’t wear much Gucci in real life, anyway. “She loved Yves Saint Laurent,” Yates reveals. “So we were far keener on YSL vintage than Gucci.” An affinity for more dynamic clothing, Reggiani wasn’t a fan of the notoriously more conservative aesthetic of the brand at the time. “Before Tom Ford stepped in, Gucci was described as ’round and brown,'” she says. “Everything was very angular and lacked color, there was lots of black and white.” Much to our surprise and even Yates’s, though, it seems that Reggiani did wear Gucci for one of the biggest moments of her life. “I did read over the weekend that her wedding dress was Gucci,” she says. “Now for the film we made that dress, but we also made one in lace as well.”
Nonetheless, Yates is emphatic about the impact that Gucci has played on the fashion industry. “It’s so immense and so enormous,” she says. “In early research, I think it was probably in Sarah Harden’s book, but it was said that Gucci made Lawrence Harvey, who was a very big film star in those days, a burgundy snake skin briefcase that opened into a cocktail cabinet. Like how wonderful?” But that’s not all. “I think they were fabulous at shoes, fabulous at bags, fabulous at luggage. And when they didn’t really blossom in the design field, then Tom Ford comes along and cut through all that. Absolutely amazes the world. So what Gucci stands for now is just, you know, it’s fantastic.” And she’s confident that the brand is continuing in the right direction. “Alessandro Michele has taken the throne and his designs appeal so wonderfully to costume. It’s a lot of logo and enhanced costume, but still very retro.”
It’s Yates goal that viewers feel more upbeat after seeing the fashions of the film. “I want them to take away joy,” she says. “I really loved every day on set and I’d go running to set to make sure that Ridley was happy. This really is joy.” She’s not just referring to Lady Gaga’s fashions, either. “The way that Adam looked in his suits or his jackets or his blazers, the way Al Pacino just put everything together, I want them to go away full of joy. Even though, it’s a sad ending.”
House Of Gucci is currently playing exclusively in theatres nationwide.