You’ve no doubt seen the picture all over your social feeds; Lady Gaga all in black, gold chains snaked round her neck and wrists, with an impossibly fluffy white hat perched on her head. Adam Driver, his arm casually slung around her shoulder, wearing thick-framed glasses, a white turtleneck, and a classic sweater around the waist.
It’s the epitome of 80s après ski chic – so much so that one almost expects a young George Michael to come zooming down the snowy slopes behind them, crooning the lyrics to Last Christmas as he goes. And that makes complete and utter sense; this is, after all, the first look at House Of Gucci, which is fast gearing up to becoming one of the most fashionable films ever made.
However, while House Of Gucci is inevitably going to be a stylish affair, it’s also going to prove an incredibly dark and twisted one.
The twisted true story begins as so many fairytales do: with a forbidden romance.
Maurizio Gucci, a multi-millionaire and heir to a fashion dynasty, defied his family’s wishes to marry Patrizia Reggiani, who had been born just outside Milan to a waitress and a much older man who made his fortune in trucking.
“I met Maurizio at a party and he fell madly in love with me. I was exciting and different,” she told The Guardian of their first meeting.
For 12 years, the couple were incredibly happy together, and became frequent fixtures on the Italian social scene. They enjoyed luxurious holidays, made time for the finer things in life, and welcomed two daughters, Allegra and Alessandra.
On 2 May 1985, though, the marriage fell apart very suddenly, according to Reggiani. Speaking in an interview with the TV show Storie Maledette, she said her husband had departed for what was supposed to be a short business trip to Florence, and never returned.
Of course, it later transpired that Maurizio had fallen for a younger woman, Paola Franchi. He and Reggiani finalised their divorce in 1991 and, from that point on, both of their lives seemed to hit a downward spiral.
His management of the Gucci brand meant that he was forced to sell the label wholly to Investcorp for $120m; she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which was thankfully removed without any negative consequences.
“I was angry with Maurizio about many, many things at that time,” Reggiani told The Guardian in 2016. “But above all, this: losing the family business. It was stupid. It was a failure. I was filled with rage, but there was nothing I could do.
“He shouldn’t have done that to me.”
On 27 March 1995, a professional hitman followed Maurizio Gucci as he entered his Milan offices. He was shot four times, and died in the arms of the building’s doorman, Giuseppe Onorato, who was also wounded in the attack.
It was a crime case that dominated the headlines, and all eyes were soon on Reggiani. After all, her bitterness towards her ex-husband was well known, as was the fact that she was looking for a hitman. Indeed, she had twice asked her cleaner to help her and even consulted a lawyer over what would happen if she were to get rid of her ex-husband.
“I have to admit that for a time, I truly wanted to get rid of him. I wanted to do it and so I was going around asking for people to do it. But my intentions ended there – a mere obsession, a mere desire,” she told Storie Maledette.
“What wife has never said, ‘I’d kill that guy?’”
After a lengthy trial, Reggiani was found guilty of plotting to murder her ex-husband and sentenced to 29 years imprisonment on 3 November 1998.
Benedetto Ceraulo, the professional hit man, received a life sentence. Gucci’s clairvoyant friend, Pina Auriemma, was sentenced to 25 years for allegedly having helped to organise the killing for a fee of around £250,000. Getaway driver Orazio Cicala was sentenced to 29 years. And hotel night porter Ivano Savioni, who was alleged to have hired both the driver and the killer, received a 26-year sentence.
Even now, Reggiani maintains her innocence; her best friend had set her up, she says. “If I could see Maurizio again I would tell him that I love him, because he is the person who has mattered most to me in my life,” the socialite told The Guardian.
It is worth noting that in 2014, though, a TV crew showed up unannounced at her place of work and began hurling questions at her.
“Patrizia, why did you hire a hitman to kill Maurizio Gucci? Why didn’t you shoot him yourself?” demanded the reporter.
“My eyesight is not so good,” she snapped back.
“I didn’t want to miss.”
Who stars in House Of Gucci?
Lady Gaga and Adam Driver will lead the film as Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci.
Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto, and Jack Huston make up the rest of the star-studded cast.
Is there a trailer for House Of Gucci?
Currently, there is no trailer for House Of Gucci. We will be sure to update you as soon as that changes.
Who is bringing House Of Gucci to life?
The movie is based on Sara G Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed and is being produced by Ridley and Giannina Scott and Kevin Walsh.
When will House Of Gucci be released in cinemas?
House Of Gucci is currently filming, and is due for release in November 2021.
Images: Getty/UPI Media/2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
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