How did you come to work on House of Gucci?
Jana Carboni: I worked for a long time with the amazing Tina Earnshaw as her key makeup artist, also on some of Ridley Scott’s films. When Ridley started to crew up for Gucci, I was asked to join them. The movie was going to be filmed on the location between Northern Italy and Rome and they were looking for some Italian fashion and glamour knowledge and they thought of me.
Sarah Tanno: I have worked with Lady Gaga since 2009. I’ve had the most wonderful opportunities to learn and expand my career because of the versatility of her artistry. Ridley Scott has been a huge inspiration in a lot of my fashion work so having the opportunity to work with him and Gaga together was sensational.
What sort of research or prep did you do for the project?
JC: I started with a massive photo reference. I went through countless photos, books, documentaries about that era and the Gucci Family, and watched films shot in those years. Together with hair designer Giuliano Mariano, we had several Zoom meetings with Ridley, and we went through his ideas about all the characters and his vision. He is really inspiring; his vision is so important to him and it’s such a beautiful feeling knowing you are giving him exactly what he has in mind. It was also important relating to Janty Yates (costume designer) and Dariusz Wolski (cinematographer) in finding the perfect balance between all these areas.
With such a prominent cast, I imagine you had a large team. What was the collaboration like?
JC: Giuliano Mariano, with his team, did a fantastic job as a hair designer — he is a hair magician! Frederic Aspiras and Sarah Tanno, Lady Gaga‘s hair, and makeup artist looked after her and they were delightful to work with. Alexis Continente and Daniel Lawson did Adam Driver’s hair and makeup. When you leave your ego aside, beautiful things happen. We worked together as a strong team and this collaboration was the key to the success of the project.
My main team was six incredible artists and human beings: key makeup artist Stefania Pellegrini, principal makeup artist Maria Solberg, Lidia Mini, Giulia Maran, and my lovely trainee Claudia Mancini. All the prosthetic work, except for Jared Leto’s character was supervised by the very talented Leonardo Cruciano and his company Baburka Factory. Makeup supervisor Glenda La Rocca and hair supervisor Paola Genovese worked with the crowd and what they did with the help of their dailies is beautiful and major.
Whose makeup did you do?
JC: As the movie makeup designer, I supervised all the looks. I personally did the makeup for Al Pacino, Salma Hayek and Camille Cottin but I am a perfectionist, so it was important to me to follow the creative process for all the looks from scratch, from the smallest roles to the last extra in the crowd.
ST: As Gaga’s personal makeup artist, I was responsible for helping her get into character as Patrizia Reggiani. I did tons of research months before the movie started filming. As House of Gucci spanned decades, it was important for the changes to grow with her character and be subtle, so it wasn’t distracting to the scene. It’s a challenge, but my favorite part is seeing it all come together.
What was the design process like for Jared Leto’s incredible transformation?
JC: Jared Leto’s transformation was all thanks to Göran Lundström: he designed the whole look. He and his team worked really hard, endless hours to achieve a beautiful result. It was crucial to have someone like Göran with those incredible skills and work ethic to join us in the adventure of The House of Gucci.
Do you have a favorite beauty look in the film?
JC: I love every look of every single character in this project: Sarah and Frederic of Team Gaga pushed all the boundaries and gave us all the glamour of the Patrizia Reggiani look. Daniel and Alexis worked on Adam Driver’s iconic Maurizio Gucci look. Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Camille Cottin looks are all such massive makeovers; they have never looked anything like that before. It was fun to work with those incredible actors and gain their trust. It was a real joy for me to be able to design the vision of those super cool Studio 54 iconic artists and vibes, and the Milan fashion catwalks from the ‘70s to the ‘90s who made the history of Italian Style.
Where there any challenges due to Covid when working on this project?
JC: While we were filming, Italy was on lockdown. We wore PPE masks, visors and followed a very intricate safety protocol and social distancing instructions. It was our responsibility to follow the rules as not to put any of the cast and crew in danger. We felt pretty gifted to work on such an l epic project, so the hardness of working within the safety protocols was absolutely worth it. The production staff was incredibly helpful looking after us and making us feel safe at all times.
What was the best part about working on this project?
ST: Bringing a character to life from when you read it in the script and then work on your inspiration. Once you finally get to do the actual makeup and watch that scene come to life, it’s incredible and gratifying. I love collaborating with other artists. I had the best time working closely with Jana and her team to make sure everything was cohesive.
Words Shannon Levy
Photos Courtesy MGM