Inside Lady Gaga’s Decade-Spanning Beauty Transformation For ‘House Of Gucci’

Lady Gaga’s glam team on crafting her dramatic transformation into infamous heiress Patrizia Reggiani for 'House of Gucci.'

Beauty, Lady Gaga

12/2/2021 5:48:00 PM

Lady Gaga ’s glam team on crafting her dramatic transformation into infamous heiress Patrizia Reggiani for 'House of Gucci.'

Lady Gaga ’s glam team on crafting her dramatic transformation into infamous heiress Patrizia Reggiani for 'House of Gucci.'

. In recreating the real woman who upended the Gucci dynasty and plotted the murder of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, Gaga’s glam team needed to perfect an array of decade-spanning looks; ones that were true to Reggiani’s gaudy brand of glamour and historically accurate to the style and dress of the times. More specifically, the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.

“This wasn’t just a period piece that spans 30 years of a woman’s life and story — she was a real person,” explains Tanno. “These things really did happen, and we really wanted to treat it as documentary as possible; studying the way she moves, the way she talks, the way she lined her lips, the way she coloured her hair. All these little nuances that were very specific to Patrizia as a woman.”

To achieve their vision, Tanno and Aspiras spent countless hours doing research, creating a 500-page index and plastering the walls of Gaga’s trailer in Italy with forensic-like beauty moodboards for constant reference throughout shooting. “We wanted to capture the essence of Patrizia,” says Aspiras of their months-long preparation process, which saw him dyeing and styling nearly a dozen wigs. “We went through the script page by page, mapping it out with inspiration photos and references of the real Patrizia.” headtopics.com

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Here, Tanno and Aspiras talk through bringing the beauty of Lady Gaga’s Patrizia to life in the three decades that span the film and define her story.The ’70sPhoto: EPK.TVIn terms of pulling from real life, the early ’70s was the most challenging for Tanno and Aspiras because there was no photographic evidence of Reggiani before her wedding day in 1972. As a workaround, the pair looked to Italian beauty icons of the time, namely Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, for inspiration. “We had to think about who Patrizia was inspired by in her early days,” explains Aspiras. “That was the jumping off point for coming up with her look.”

Ultimately, the beauty signatures they landed on were virgin brown hair coiffed in retro waves worn with a soft complexion, rounded eyebrows, and graphic cat eyes. “She had a ’60s make-up style because Italian women in the ’70s were a little bit behind the fashion in America,” explains Tanno. “For her wedding, it was a subtle, tightened double winged eye. Instead of an American winged eye, Italians really drew out the line more straight in a Sophia Loren type of way to elongate the eye.”

As the days of disco took hold of the late ’70s, Reggiani’s beauty was appropriately dialled up — but thoughtfully so. “She’s gaining power, so she tries a little bit harder with her hair and make-up; but something you need to remember about Patrizia is that she’s never as shiny as the Guccis,” explains Tanno. “She’s a little bit off, a little bit odd — that’s what we really wanted to capture with her glam.”

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The ’80sPhoto: EPK.TVNaturally, given her flair for the dramatic, Reggiani embraced the more-and-more beauty trends of the ’80s: Sooty eyes, vivid draped blush, frosty over-lined lips, and teased, voluminous hair. “As she gets into the ’80s, it’s a bit more about a rounded shape in the eye — ​​it’s more smudgy and blended with fewer hard lines,” explains Tanno, who helped design the Haus Laboratories Casa Gaga collection, which is inspired by the decadence of Italian beauty. “The cheeks are brighter and higher on the temples versus the apples of the cheeks and something that was really specific to Patrizia, if you look up real photos, is that she had this really dark sharp lip liner with a frosted lipstick.” headtopics.com

Of course there was a major shift in the hair realm as well, with Reggiani embracing her means and the unapologetically big, bold hair trends of the time. “You see a shift where she goes from doing her own hair to going to a salon,” explains Aspiras. “There are these power looks, like in that iconic scene where she says ‘Father, Son, house of Gucci.’ We really want to establish that transition from not having a lot of money to having wealth and power.” As such, she embraced many of the decade’s tell-tale looks, from the “Brigitte Nielsen power blowout” to the high-to-the-heavens perm. “It was about mousse and hairsprays to really lock in that curl — that crunchy curl really was the look,” he laughs. The evolution of her natural brunette to jet black hair colour, achieved with the help of Joico’s rich dyes and colour-preserving products, was another key element. As Aspiras puts it, “It establishes richness.”

The ’90sPhoto: MGM“This is a point in her life that she’s losing things that she loves, so instead of paying attention to the era as much in the ’90s, we really paid attention to her as a character and what’s going on in her life,” explains Tanno of why trends were secondary for the film’s final chapter, where Reggiani is arrested and eventually convicted of orchestrating the killing of her ex-husband. “We were paying a tribute to the things we found in the press, like the courtroom scene.”

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In a word, Tanno describes Reggiani’s overall appearance as unhinged: “During those years she had a really sharp lip liner and her mascara looked clumpy as if she had worn it for three days straight without taking it off and just reapplied it,” she explains, adding that she used make-up techniques, such as adding an “ashen” effect to her skin, to make her look older. As for the wig – accurate to, as Aspiras puts it, a “scorned, convicted older woman,” it was the same voluminous crop Reggiani sported in the previous decade, but unkempt.

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