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

Minor spoilers for Priscilla forward. Along with his flashy onstage costumes and larger-than-life vogue, Elvis Presley influenced lots of the ‘60s and ‘70s model. However in Priscilla — the Sofia Coppola movie starring  Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny because the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his ex-wife, primarily based on Priscilla Presley’s ebook Elvis & Me — the garments inform a extra understated, intimate story of a girl crafting her personal id. 

For costume designer Stacey Battat, who additionally labored on Coppola’s The Bling Ring and The Beguiled, Priscilla’s costumes began with a 1970 photograph of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, the place, in response to her, it was noticeable that the 2 had diverged, not solely in model but additionally in actual life. “I feel early on Sofia and I checked out that photograph and observed how she simply appears to be like so uncomfortable,” says Battat. “I feel that photograph simply informs a lot of how we noticed them later within the film.” 

In the beginning of the movie, viewers meet 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, who resides in Germany along with her household on a US Military base, carrying pastel-colored cardigans, cutesy A-line skirts, and a coronary heart choker necklace. In preparation, Battat and her workforce researched cloth decisions and silhouettes of the late ’50s and early ’60s, seeking to outdated problems with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar for inspiration. Additionally they checked out a real-life photograph of Priscilla waving goodbye to Elvis as he left Germany for the USA, carrying a plaid costume and a sheer scarf worn over her head, which they recreated for the movie. 

Later, Priscilla strikes to reside with Elvis in Memphis, Tennessee, the place she undergoes a makeover, going from plaid skirts and hair bows to opera gloves and glamorous mini clothes. When the couple goes procuring, viewers see Elvis telling Priscilla what she ought to put on. “That clearly inform[s] the costumes that she wears later,” says Battat of the scene, the place Elvis additionally requests Priscilla dye her hair from brown to black and begin utilizing eyeliner. From then on, we see Priscilla in a revolving door of Elvis-approved blue and pink outfits (no prints or browns that Elvis hates). 

Whereas a lot of Priscilla is advised by extra intimate moments between the couple — like at residence the place Priscilla wears pastel-colored lingerie units and nightgowns —  the movie does present the couple’s 1967 wedding ceremony. For the appears to be like, Battat labored with Chanel and Valentino, who made Priscilla’s robe and Elvis’ swimsuit respectively. True to the photographs from the Las Vegas ceremony, Battat and Chanel’s Virginie Viard created a long-sleeved, lace-embellished A-line costume for Priscilla, paired with a tiara and waist-length veil. “The [look] had references of the unique costume,” says Battat. “After which we form of tailored a few of the stuff simply to suit Cailey’s [five-foot-one] body.” Equally, Battat recreated the outfit Priscilla wore after giving delivery to their daughter, Lisa Marie, staying true to the unique with a bubblegum pink costume.

The final half of Priscilla sees Elvis Presley on the peak of his profession in Las Vegas and Priscilla alone in Los Angeles. As the 2 develop aside, in addition they costume otherwise. The singer-actor trades his leather-based jackets and night jackets for vibrant jumpsuits — for which Battat labored with BK Enterprises — whereas Priscilla embraces the freer nature of ‘70s style in pants and prints and her pure brown locks. 

“We checked out historic photographs of Elvis and Priscilla and thought of what was the picture which they projected out into the world,” says Battat. “I feel he turned a lot extra theatrical and masked — lots of make-up, jewellery, massive sideburns. She turns into unmasked.”

Priscilla is now in theaters nationwide.

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