On Tuesday, Lady Gaga posted an Instagram picture with actor Adam Driver captioned ‘Signore e Signora Gucci #HouseOfGucci’. A feed frenzy ensued. The image is internet catnip at its sartorial best, displaying an 80s Italian Alpine aesthetic nobody knew they needed: Driver in oversized aviators and a crisp white ski suit, top half tied around the waist to reveal the most perfect ecru Aran-knit roll neck; Gaga in belted black (the belt is vintage Tom Ford-era Gucci, according to a dedicated Instagram page), white fur hat, and cascades of chunky gold jewellery.
The post introduced the first ‘hype knit’ of 2021 to the world (courtesy of Driver) and refuelled a somewhat dwindling collective meme bank, with the image swiftly superimposed onto Star Wars scenes and joined by a mitten-clad Bernie Sanders. But it also raised one pressing question: what is the House of Gucci? And how, where and when do we get into it?
The viral image of Driver and Gaga on location in the Italian Alps, gave the world the first official look behind the scenes of the upcoming crime biopic House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott and based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. The hotly anticipated film will focus on the 1995 assassination of Maurizio Gucci (Driver), grandson of the brand’s founder Guccio Gucci and the last of the famed dynasty to run the luxury brand.
In her first role since her Oscar-nominated turn in the 2018 hit A Star Is Born, Gaga will star as Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani, Gucci’s wife, who was eventually convicted of orchestrating his murder. The trial was a media spectacle that captivated the Italian public in the late 1990s and the film is set to reignite that interest globally – and look impeccable in the process.
A long time coming, the project has been in the works for more than a decade, with Martin Scorsese reportedly considered to direct and Angelina Jolie and Margot Robbie previously tipped for Gaga’s role. But filming finally began in Rome earlier this year, with the actors spotted in head-to-toe bank- and internet-breaking looks, on set with Scott. Jeremy Irons has also been cast, though his role has not been announced, and Al Pacino and Jared Leto are rumoured co-stars.
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It’s easy to see the cinematic appeal of this tragic tale. Reggiani and Gucci met when they were in their early 20s at a party of Milan’s elite, and got married in 1972. Reggiani’s penchant for extravagance – yachts, private islands and penthouses – and her overtly glamorous wardrobe led the Italian press to dub her ‘Lady Gucci’ and report her famous claim: "I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle."
But after her husband left her for a younger woman, there was an acrimonious divorce and Gucci sold off his stake in the family business for around $200 million. Reggiani did not hide her bitterness towards her ex-husband – nor the fact that she was looking for a hit man.
In 1995, 46-year-old Gucci was fatally shot by an unknown gunman in Milan, and his ex-wife was an immediate suspect. In 1999, after a drawn-out murder trial, Reggiani, now nicknamed the ‘Black Widow’, was jailed for 29 years for her part in the crime. She claimed that she was involved against her will and maintains that she is innocent, having left jail in 2017.
Set to be released in November of this year, we for one, cannot wait.
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