The costume designers behind the Queen biopic break the inspirations of rock & # 39; n & # 39; n & # 39; roll for Rami Malek Mercury's limits push and the "Country Stagecoach Festival vibe" seen in Lady Gaga in Bradley Cooper's hit remake.
Rock style & # 39; n & # 39; n & # 39; roll is lighting the big screen this fall, from the 70s and 80s the androgynous glamor of Bohemian Rhapsody, opening on November 2, to the contemporary styles of Bradley Cooper's country western and rock-pop & # 39; s A star has been born, which has won more than $ 200 million at the worldwide box office since its presentation on October 5.
Both films are about the process of becoming an icon of music, the old chronicle of the extravagant life of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), lover of skin and spandex, and the last one, of meta-musical form, eliminating the artifice of one of the greatest in our history. Time, Lady Gaga, who plays an aspirant to be an act of supernova Ally.
Mercury was so aware of his image on stage that he famously said: "It's not a concert what you're seeing, it's a fashion show." In addition to researching the Queen archives in London, which contain a lot of news clippings, costumes and more, Bohemian Rhapsody Designer Julian Day selected a who's who of British fashion to help with the genre style of the style icon, starting with Biba's decadent (and long-closed) boutique in London, where Mercury's wife is interested in Mary Mary (Lucy Boynton) They worked when they met. "Biba's owner, Barbara Hulanicki, put Mary in charge of the store because she dressed the best way," says Day, who bought Biba's crop for Malek and Boynton. "Freddie went to art school and had a clothes stand in the Kensington market, he loved clothes."
During a scene in which the band first signed with a record label, Malek wears a white leather jacket with details on the shoulders (his bandmates tease him mercilessly). "That white jacket was found in Jimi Hendrix's apartment when he died, or at least that's what they told me," says Carlo Manzi's vintage rental day in London, noting that, if true, it's a tribute. appropriate because Mercury was a great man. influenced by Hendrix.
Day reproduced many of the performer's most memorable looks from scratch, starting with several pairs of black velvet pants. "We cut so many, we nicknamed them Freddie Flare."
In the 1970s, Mercury was a frequent patron of the pink-haired British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who made the white pleated blouse she wore during a performance in 1974. "Freddie went to his studio and saw her making a dress She said she would like to have the top part, so she cut off her skirt and gave it to her, "says Day. "I went to Zandra and got her to reproduce the exact upper part in a lighter fabric."
Mercury loved the theatricality ("If we have something more in common with Liza Minnelli than with Led Zeppelin", she said of Queen) and enjoyed the use of spandex overalls that allowed her to jump and interact with her audience in the way that Day believes. He made it more accessible than contemporaries David Bowie and Elton John. (Day is also designing costumes for Elton's biopic). Rocketman.) The recreation of one of Mercury's harlequin costumes that sold for more than 22,500 pounds (about $ 29,000) at an auction in 2012 was "an incredible feat of engineering," says Day, "from every diamond [pattern] They had to be cut and sewn together; it required 30 to 40 accessories. "
In the 1980s, Mercury had become gay, and his appearance evolved into something more macho, with leather jackets, BDSM-inspired stud accessories, tight jeans and tank tops inspired by gay club culture and reminiscent of the illustrations of Tom of Finland. "He had visited a club in New York called Mineshaft in the Meatpacking district … His eyes were open," says Day. "The idea of fetish wear, now Dior and all high-end fashion brands do, but then, to dress like that on stage and in public, it's easy to forget how radical it was."
The most challenging aspect to create was also the simplest, says the performance look of jeans and sleeveless shirt Live Aid 1985 of Day of Mercury. Day contacted Wrangler, who provided the original style of jeans that the star wore, and Adidas, which reproduced the shoes. "I took the studded belt and bracelet from the place where he got them in London, but the white tank was the hardest, we did a lot of screen tests, it had to be tight, but not too tight, and I ended up doing 20 or more. they ". Malek approached him shortly before the filming began and said: "I've been watching the Live Aid images, and I think the neckline should be a little lower," recalls Day. "We shaved half a centimeter or less, but that detail made him feel better and it looked good."
A star has been born Costume designer Erin Benach says about Gaga's Ally and her style evolution in the film: "We were telling a story through the costumes, carefully planning every time we saw her being at a distance from where she started: a blank canvas, dressed in a simple black dress, it was about wearing it from zero to 100. "
When Ally starts touring with Jack (played by Cooper), she finds her voice and style, picking up vintage pieces along the way for "a vibe from the country's Stagecoach Festival," says Benach, observing performance when Ally uses a white embroidered jumpsuit that reminds of the brand of jeans clothes Nudie Cohn, who has dressed Gram Parsons, Hank Williams and Jenny Lewis. "That was the high point of when she began to feel like a star," explains the designer, adding that the looks of Ally's pop-tastic solo stage (transparent plastic shorts and short top) were inspired by In bright colorFly Girls of the 90s.
She and Gaga tried not to use too many recognizable labels (the striped pants with details of silver chains are of the favorite brand of Instagram Miaou, and a fringed shawl was the one of Gaga) and they moved away of the reasons of real stars. The exception is a moment of high fashion in the form of a custom Gucci gold dress during a fateful Grammy scene.
"As an interpreter," says Benach, "Gaga knew what she got right with the camera."
This story first appeared in the October 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.