It's the perfect blockbuster antidote to nearly two full years of halted production, delayed shooting, and straight-to-streaming: House of Gucci, the billboard and trailers all reiterated, again and again, is viewable "only in movie theaters." The Ridley Scott-helmed film might be the first major motion picture to get an exclusively theatric release since the Before Times, and it's undeniably the biggest, too.
Global filming locales, sprawling costume design, a robust list of A-list actors, and all the high-fashion historical drama make it clear: House of Gucci is the sort of movie that can only be fully appreciated on the big screen. That's never more evident than watching Lady Gaga in character as Patrizia Reggiani, the cunning and ambitious woman who would build up fashion heir Maurizio Gucci only to become his undoing years later. In the film, Gaga-as-Patrizia cycles through assorted events, tax brackets, countries, and decades with studied seamlessness—a testament to her stellar acting skills and glam team. It's undeniable that attention to aesthetic detail brought those crucial changes to life.
Frederic Aspiras, Lady Gaga's longtime hairstylist, was the natural choice to help bring Patrizia to life—after all, who's better suited to transform the pop star than the artist who's usually in charge of making her stand out? Aspiras worked on the House Of Gucci set as Gaga/Patrizia's hairstylist, and ultimately was the mastermind in charge of making the time jumps look so seamless, natural, and part of the overall storytelling.
To get a sense of what was required to make it all happen, Byrdie spoke with Frederic Aspiras on all things Patrizia, perms, and power.
On the Real Patrizia Reggiani
"We ended up creating a major hair and makeup directory of Patrizia Reggiani's looks prior to filming that was about 350-400 pages. It was critical to do investigative reporting all about her lifestyle as a young 24-year-old Italian woman who lived in Rome. It was very important to remain as authentic and honest as possible.
"I think what really set this project apart from the other looks [Gaga and I] have done together was the preparation. The film required hours and months of preparation and research to master the role of Patrizia Reggiani and understand the fashion and trends throughout the decade. The time I spent working on this project surpassed any other project I’ve been a part of."
On Styling Through the Decades
"During my research, it was very important that I understood the fashion and trends throughout the decade. The progression of the character's life had to be depicted not only by the script and setting but also by her hair. Because there wasn’t much of her life documented in photos or videos as a young woman to refer to, I had to create complete forensics of her hairstyles from a young bride to a scorned, convicted older woman.
"My favorite [hairstyle] has to be the perm that Patrizia wears when she goes to meet Paolo Gucci and says the iconic line, 'Father, Son, and House of Gucci.' It was fun to bring back the perm! I think what really took the most time was creating hairstyles with the same technique that would have been used during that time period. It was so important to me that her hair was as authentic as possible, so I used only techniques that would have only been around during that time period.
"I think there is a lot to be said for the techniques that were used during these time periods. While they may not be my favorite styles, they were definitely fun to recreate."
What It Really Takes to Prepare for a Film
"For three months, we had a 4 a.m. call time to ensure Lady Gaga was prepped. Each wig was delicately colored or highlighted with professional hair color to depict where the character was in her life, the circumstance, and the time period ahead of time.
"Her character required 10 hero custom, full lace, hand-knotted, human hair wigs, and one hair fall to add volume and shape. Over 50 original looks were created by the end of filming. Lady Gaga immersed herself into the character of Patrizia and held the accent all day. It was truly an incredible experience to be a part of."
How to Get the High-Drama House of Gucci Look
"I really love Joico products and I used them throughout the whole process. We used Rise Up ($22) for volume at the roots and light texture throughout the style, and the Colorful Anti Fade Collection to maintain the vibrancy of the color.
"I think bringing back these ['80s and '90s-era] looks is great, you just need to elevate them a bit. Always add texture and volume and make sure your hair is an accent, not a distraction."