A film about ambition, glamour and power

The American film House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott, has filled cinemas with glamour, ambition and power. Starring actors such as Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino, it premiered last November in London to instant acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

House of Gucci tells the story of the murder of Maurizio Gucci by hitmen hired by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani; a key moment in the life of one of the most famous families in the fashion world.

In 2006, Ridley Scott announced that he was going to make a film about the Gucci family. Initially, Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio were to star as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci. The film was shelved and, after a series of vicissitudes, in November 2019, it was announced that Scott had taken up the project again, also becoming the film’s producer. With the announcement, it was also revealed that Lady Gaga would play the leading role in the film.

A magnificent Lady Gaga

In order to prepare for her role, Gaga studied Reggiani’s accent, mannerisms and personality by watching documentaries and interviews, as the production company had forbidden her to contact Patrizia, which greatly annoyed the Italian, who was expecting a call from the actress.

The film cost 75 million dollars. One of the most highly-valued aspects of the film was the wardrobe, created by the British costume designer, Janty Yates. Yates spent six weeks, in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, delving into Gucci archives and preparing a wardrobe from the period between 1975 and 1995, when fashion was undergoing dramatic changes.

Lady Gaga was closely involved in the characterisation process of her role, taking into account aspects such as accessories, make-up and hairstyling. Yates designed several outfits for each scene and the actress chose the one she wanted to wear.

In all, Gaga wore more than 50 different looks out of the 300 outfits that were created for the film, without repeating a single accessory. The costume design began six months before the making of the film.

An impressive premiere

On February 24th 2021, Lady Gaga travelled to Rome to start filming. The outdoor scenes were shot in Florence, Lake Como and Milan, as well as in the Italian Alps in the Aosta Valley, which were used to recreate the resort of St. Moritz (Switzerland).

The film premiered at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on November 9th 2021. It was then screened in Milan, New York and Los Angeles, and subsequently in cinemas around the world, grossing more than $110 million at the box office. Some 31% of those who went to see the film were over the age of 45, and 40% of the audience admitted that they went to the cinema to see Lady Gaga’s performance.

Her performance was unanimously praised. USA Today wrote «The power of Gaga is undeniable as she rules House of Gucci with powerful panache and addictive swagger», while The Guardian called the performance «glorious, elegant, impish, and of a very high standard».

Reactions of the family

As for Reggiani’s response, she acknowledged in an interview that she was «disappointed» that Gaga had not consulted her in preparation for the role. For her part, Patrizia Gucci, Maurizio’s second cousin, explained that the family was upset about the making of the film, which was, in their opinion, «A theft of our identity and privacy. There are boundaries that simply cannot be crossed».

Following the film’s release, the Gucci family, who have not been related to the firm since Investcorp bought it, argued that «the narrative of the film is anything but accurate», while criticising the portrayal of a chauvinistic family.

The film’s release boosted the sales of Gucci merchandise by 270%, and Google searches for the brand increased dramatically in countries such as the UK, Denmark and Singapore.

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