Few things are universally recognized across the globe. But when a fashion lover sees green and red stripes or interlocking Gs on a purse, shoes, or hat, one thing comes to mind: Gucci.
The Italian fashion brand founded in 1921 is one of the most high-profile ones in the world, but the dynasty behind it has a scandalous past, which is now the subject of director Ridley Scott’s star-studded “House of Gucci” movie.
A free new exhibit at the FIDM Museum in downtown LA chronicles the extravagant fashion worn by actors like Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Al Pacino.
“[Guests] can expect to see a real panoply of what’s going on in the ‘House of Gucci’ movie,” says FIDM Vice President of Education and FIDM Museum Director Barbara Bundy.
The exhibit also includes a virtual gallery and photographs.
“Everybody has their vision of Gucci. It’s such an icon of style, of luxury, of fashion,” says FIDM Chair of Fashion Design Nick Verreos. “I say that the fashion here in the film is almost another character.”
Oscar Award-winning British costume designer Janty Yates is behind the iconic looks in the film. Verreos, a fashion expert and former Project Runway contestant, says Yates’ work helped the actors on the film step into their characters.
“Gucci is rich. When you see the clothing, [it’s] rich, and I think that it’s purposeful,” he says.
A good example of that, according to Yerreos, is the custom-made suits worn by Rodolfo Gucci, played by Jeremy Irons.
“When you see Jeremy Irons’ character Rodolfo Gucci, a former silent screen actor, he [is] almost like a male, Sunset Boulevard Italian movie star,” says Yerreos.
Gucci worked with filmmakers to give them access to its archives the minute they found out Lady Gaga was onboard, according to Verreos. While the pieces directly from Gucci’s vaults are not on display at the exhibit, fashionistas can see vintage Gucci belts, ascot ties and purses.
One of the most pivotal pieces in the exhibition is the wedding dress Lady Gaga wore while playing Patrizia Reggiani. However, the dress seen in the film is different from what Reggiani actually wore during her 1970s nuptials.
Verreos says the costume designer actually made two wedding dresses for the film.
“The first one was a replica of the actual dress, which was very conservative. I would say wedding gown/house prairie.”
Yates then made a second dress and then took a poll with Lady Gaga, her makeup artists and other people on the set. They all voted for the second gown — the fitted, chiffon-paneled, high-low dress seen in the film.
While the costumes that Lady Gaga wore in the film are standouts, some fashionistas say there are other items they have their eyes on: the suits.
“We don’t get a lot of spectacular menswear in many movies and [in] this movie, Janty [Yates] did an awesome job,” says Barbara Bundy.
While fashion commentator Verreos enjoys menswear too, his favorite outfit is the ski suit Lady Gaga wears while in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The costume is designed by the brand Postcard Italy and with it, Lady Gaga wears Christian Dior vintage goggles and a Yves Saint Laurent belt.
“It brings me back to late 70s disco, living the life of Après-ski/James Bond,” says Verreos.
Another thing guests shouldn’t miss is the jewelry used in the film. Verreos’ favorite ones are the pinky rings that you see on the mannequins of Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci.
“Notice the jewelry. Don’t just notice the fashion when you come to the exhibition. I love those pinky rings. They’re actually ‘GG’-logoed, gold-toned pinky rings. I want them,” says Verreos.
The exhibit is free and open to the public until December 4, 2021. COVID protocols are in place, including masks and proof of vaccination for all attendees. You can find out more at the FIDM Museum site.