How Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Tells A Coming-of-age Story Through Fashion

Minor spoilers for priscilla forward. With his striking stage costumes and spectacular fashion, Elvis Presley greatly influenced the style of the 60s and 70s. But in priscilla — Sofia Coppola’s film starring Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his ex-wife, based on the book by Priscilla Presley Elvis and me – the clothes tell a more discreet and intimate story of a woman creating her own identity.

For costume designer Stacey Battat, who also worked on Coppola The shining ring and The deceived, priscillaElvis’ wardrobe began with a 1970 photograph of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, where, she said, it was clear that the two had diverged, not only in style but also in real life. “I think that from the beginning Sofia and I looked at that photo. And I realized how uncomfortable she looks,” Battat says. “I think that photo informs a lot of how we saw them later in the movie.”

At the beginning of the film, viewers meet 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, who lives in Germany with her family on an American Army base and wears pastel-colored cardigans, cute A-line skirts, and a heart choker. In preparation, Battat and her team researched fabric choices and silhouettes from the late ’50s and early ’60s, analyzing old editions of Fashion and Harper’s Bazaar for inspiration. They also saw a real-life photo of Priscilla saying goodbye to Elvis as he left Germany for the United States, dressed in a plaid dress and a sheer scarf over her head, which they recreated for the film.

Priscilla later moves in with Elvis in Memphis, Tennessee, where she undergoes a makeover, going from plaid skirts and hair bows to opera gloves and glamorous minidresses. When the couple goes shopping, viewers see Elvis telling Priscilla what to wear. “That obviously informs[s] the costumes he wears afterwardssays Battat of the scene, where Elvis also asks Priscilla to dye her hair from brown to black and start wearing eyeliner. From then on, we see Priscilla in a revolving door of Elvis-approved blue and pink suits (no prints or browns, which Elvis hates).

Although much of priscilla Told through more intimate moments between the couple, such as at home where Priscilla wears pastel-colored nightgowns and lingerie sets, the film shows the couple’s wedding in 1967. For the looks, Battat worked with Chanel and Valentino, who they made Priscilla’s dress and Elvis’ suit respectively. True to photos from the Las Vegas ceremony, Chanel’s Battat and Virginie Viard created a long-sleeved lace-embellished dress for Priscilla, paired with a tiara and a waist-length veil for her. “He [look] It had references to the original dress,” says Battat. “And then we adapted some of the things to fit Cailey’s style. [five-foot-one] Marco.” Likewise, Battat recreated the outfit that Priscilla wore after giving birth to her daughter, Lisa Marie, staying faithful to the original with a bubblegum pink dress.

The last half of priscilla sees Elvis Presley at the top of his game in Las Vegas and Priscilla alone in Los Angeles. As the two grow apart, they also dress differently. The singer and actor trades in his leather jackets and evening jackets for vibrant jumpsuits, which Battat worked on with BK Enterprises, while Priscilla embraces the freer nature of ’70s style with pants, prints and her natural brown locks.

“We looked at historical images of Elvis and Priscilla and thought about what image they projected to the world,” Battat says. “I think it became a lot more theatrical and masked: a lot of makeup, jewelry, big sideburns. She becomes unmasked.”

priscilla It’s now in theaters nationwide.

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