Costume designer Janty Yates had been waiting years to outfit a movie about the Gucci family, with director Ridley Scott and his wife and producing partner Giannina Scott first acquiring the rights to Sara Gay Forden's book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed in the early 2000s.
"I would always stick my hand in and say, 'Don't forget me, don't forget me,'" Yates told E! News in a recent phone interview. "And [Giannina] would go, 'I won't darling.'"
And the producer kept true to her word, with Yates being brought on to handle House of Gucci's extensive wardrobe after the project was officially given the go-ahead in 2019 after it languished for years.
"I was in Rome on holiday and I basically received the script, read it voraciously, crewed up my Italian second family who I love working with," Yates explained, "and went off to the Gucci museum in Florence which is an absolute fount of knowledge."
One week later, however, Yates received a call explaining production was being delayed so Scott could direct The Last Duel, which Yates then worked on before House of Gucci resumed the following year.
Yates was "very excited" to dive into the world of Gucci, even before officially signing on as the costume designer. "I did quite a bit of research anyway because why not? It is the most fascinating saga."
The intensive process involved reading autobiographies, including that of Nemir Kirdar, the legendary late founder of Investcorp, the company that eventually took over brand, and revisiting the Gucci museum. Yates also took inspiration from photos of celebrities such as Mick and Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol, Rod Stewart and Anna Wintour from the 1980s.
And because Patrizia Reggiani had a love for Yves Saint Laurent, Yates made it her mission to find pieces from the French luxury brand.
"I was combing the vintage outlets and finally I found in Torelli the most wonderful, as far as the eye can see, room of vintage '70s, '80s and '90s Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Givenchy, you name it, it was all there," Yates said. "Plus, Versaces and Armanis of mid-to-late 80s. It was fantastic."
Yates explained "it was a bit of a give and take" when it came to replicating exact looks worn by family members in real life, including Patrizia's wedding gown, utilizing her own cutter to recreate some outfits.
"We did a lot of Saint Laurent look-alikes with fabric and then we started to make very similar things," Yates sai,d revealing that several of Patrizia's costumes, including her pearl dress, a pink jacket with lace, the red dress she wears when she meets Maurizio like the pearl dress," Yates said. "We made it a long horse neck. It was taken from a photo, the pink jacket with the lace, taken from a photo, the red dress in the beginning was taken from a pink dress in a photo, and the rest we just improvised very elegant dresses."
When it came to Patrizia's wardrobe, Yates explained Scott "wanted elegance and then basically she blinged herself up. She wouldn't put on one necklace, she would put on four and that is how Patrizia Reggiani showed her wealth, with all this bling left, right and center. So we got to know them all very well through photographs, through photographic reference."
Yates estimated her team created anywhere between 400 to 500 outfits for the movie, with the most costumes changes belonging to, of course, Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani.
"She had 54 different script days, so she basically would never repeat a garment or a jewel or a shoe, etcetera," Yates said. "They would be packed away and then we would start again."
The superstar was "very involved" with the creative process, with Yates saying, "She was wonderful...we just got on gangbusters. It was great."
And she also had a very specific and personal reference point for her take on Patrizia: "Basically, she wanted to look like her mother. She said that from our very first Zoom and that was such a huge help for me and it really did work."
Yates and Gaga worked closely to craft her look for the film. "She opened her archive up, we also had the Gucci archive, we had a lot of vintage from everywhere," Yates revealed.
While Lady Gaga used her mother Cynthia as her muse, Scott's inspiration for Patrizia's wardrobe was Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, who was especially popular in the 1950s and 60s.
"He said not Joan Collins, Gina Lollobrigida," Yates said of his directive, adding she used photos of the star from the 1960s as reference points for several of Gaga's costumes, including the dress Patrizia wears to Aldo's birthday part in Lake Como.
"We more or less, stole that from a Gina Lollobrigida picture which was very va-va-voom," Yates said. "Very in at the waist, you know, the figure of 8."
Another influenced look was Patrizia's wedding dress, which came from "a great Gina Lollobrigida photo. She is obviously mugging for the camera, but she has this funny little tiara sort of veil. The dress we didn't copy, but we took inspiration."
Surprisingly, Gaga only wore two archive outfits from the eponymous design house in the film and they serve as poignant book-ends of Patrizia's time as a member of the Gucci family: "One was the double G pantsuit that she goes to 42nd Street in," Yates explained. "And the other one [is when] Dominico De Sole [played by Jack Huston] approaches her with divorce papers and she is wearing a leather skirt and a double G blouse.
While Gaga definitely had the most costumes, Adam Driver's array of understated yet perfectly fitted suits as Maurizio Gucci proved to be the most difficult task.
Forty suits were made for Driver, a number inflated after Yates' original tailor "fell ill" during filming and another company was brought in as he recuperated. "So, in the end, we were overwhelmed with suits," she said.
Yates also revealed that all 14 of Al Pacino's lavish suits he sported while playing Aldo Gucci and everything Jared Leto wore as Paolo Gucci were custom-made.
One scene that was cut from the movie that left Yates feeling "so sad" was an "absolutely huge" party set at Studio 54, the iconic disco nightclub in New York City.
"We shot it for the best part of the day. What, with everyone dressing and everybody de-rigging...it was a long, long day," Yates recalled. "But it was also Al Pacino dancing with a six-month pregnant Patrizia with Adam just sitting there watching and smiling."
"But that is where we had all the looky-likeys. So that was a lot of work," she continued. "It was just such a shame because it was a joyous piece...but maybe the director's cut."
After production wrapped, all of the costumes "went into embargo" and were sent to a warehouse in Rome, with only a few being released for a photoshoot. But Yates did reveal there is one piece of jewelry Gaga may have kept.
"I have noticed that she has been on social media showing [Patrizia's] engagement ring," Yates said. "We did have two or three of them, so I think that one might have just gone under the radar shall we say."