1. Think darker, less glossy clothes. The name might evoke Fendi, but Gucci’s darker, punk takes on even gowns could easily come from the British brand’s Nineties heyday. Think shaggy hair and puffer coat meets the killer trench coat. (Gucci made multiple garments for “Mothers,” including long, wolf-skull-embellished coats with long sleeves and a biker jacket, and thigh-high boots.) The ready-to-wear collection at Gucci’s March 2017 resort collection is more suited to the film, too, with ladylike tuxedos, strong coats, and key pieces like the khaki skirt. The standout? A solid silver and black mesh dress.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Throughout the film, Lady Gaga is wearing accessories and costume pieces, from absurd cowboy hats to the low-slung trousers she often wears in “Mothers.” At one point in the film, the singer sticks a necklaces shaped like bones on her body to promote unity, like Yoko Ono did with the statement bangles she wore in the 1970s. That’s far from quirky, but it reminds us that Gaga is an artist in the same vein as Andy Warhol. (Of course, Gaga didn’t dress like a pop star in the ’70s. She could have found leather pants at a thrift store.) Plus, the skeletons added a playful aspect to Gaga’s look.
3. Tone it down. While Gaga is played by a stylish actress, who worked with the film’s costume designer, Mark Bridges, the movie is about groups of people trying to rebel against their different mothers. By the end of the film, that means a lot of jeans and free-flowing shirts. But that’s not a look that works for everyone, especially under a movie’s big spotlight. Bringing a little more polish to Gaga’s look was no doubt key for the film’s focus on family violence. If nothing else, Gaga and Bridges could always blend in: Bridges recently dressed Claire Foy for her role as the British Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series “The Crown.”
4. Bring extras. This is Gaga’s movie and everybody who participated has a design experience. If you’re like the actress playing Gaga’s mother, take it from O’Connor and get a quick costume lesson before the scene. When Gaga’s mother (seen in silhouette in the film) has a flashback to prison, the makeup artist Tracey Asbury took photographs of real-life women who had spent time in the front row of human rights marches in 1970. Asbury created swatches of outfits for the making of the scenes, which included a copper coat and boxy black blazer. We doubt any performance artist will look out of place walking to an eviction hearing in all that copper.