That white jacket was found in Jimi Hendrix’s flat when he died, or at least that’s what I was told,» says Day of the vintage rental from Carlo Manzi in London — noting that, if true, it’s a fitting tribute because Mercury was heavily influenced by Hendrix. Costume designers behind the Queen biopic break down the rock ‘n’ roll inspirations for Rami Malek’s boundary-pushing Mercury and the «country Stagecoach Festival vibe» seen on Lady Gaga in Bradley Cooper’s hit remake. Lady Gaga, who plays wannabe-turned-supernova act Ally. Mercury was so keenly aware of his stage image, bohemian rhapsody clothing famously said, «It’s not a concert you are seeing, it’s a fashion show. Day reproduced many of the performer’s most memorable looks from scratch, starting with multiple pairs of black velvet pants. We cut so many, we nicknamed them the Freddie flare. In the 1970s, Mercury was a frequent patron of pink-haired British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who made the white pleated batwing top he wore during a 1974 performance.
Freddie went to her studio and saw her making a wedding dress. He said he’d like to have the top, so she chopped off the skirt and gave it to him,» says Day. I went to Zandra and got her to reproduce the exact top in lighter fabric. Day believes made him more accessible than contemporaries David Bowie and Elton John. Day also is designing costumes for the Elton biopic Rocketman.
By the 1980s, Mercury had come out as gay, and his look 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 Tom of Finland’s artwork. His eyes were opened,» says Day. The idea of fetish wear, now Dior and all the high-end fashion brands do it. The most challenging look to create was also the most simple, says Day of Mercury’s 1985 Live Aid jeans-and-tank-top performance look. Day contacted Wrangler, which provided the original style of jeans the star wore, and Adidas, which reproduced the sneakers. I sourced the studded belt and armband from the place he got them in London, but the white tank was the hardest. We did so many screen tests.
It needed to be tight, but not too tight, and I ended up making 20 or 30 of them. A Star Is Born costume designer Erin Benach says of Gaga’s Ally and her style evolution in the film: «We were telling a story through costumes, carefully plotting each time we saw her to be one notch away from where she started: a blank canvas, wearing a simple black dress. It was about taking her from zero to 100. Stagecoach Festival vibe,» says Benach, noting the performance when Ally wears a white embroidered jumpsuit reminiscent of cowboy couture label Nudie Cohn, which has dressed Gram Parsons, Hank Williams and Jenny Lewis. The exception is a high-fashion moment in the form of a gold Gucci custom gown worn during a fateful Grammy scene. As a performer herself,» says Benach, «Gaga knew what captured well on camera. This story first appeared in the Oct. 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Were hands on in the film’s production, we’ll give it that. A bit surprised and overwhelmed! But they remained close friends to Mercury’s dying day, his dad worked for the British government, day also is designing costumes for the Elton biopic Rocketman. A great story, why would the movie smooth over this potentially interesting wrinkle?
To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. The Hollywood Reporter, LLC is a subsidiary of Prometheus Global Media, LLC. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Capturing the sound, spirit and style of Freddie Mercury and Queen, in a film like Bohemian Rhapsody, is a mammoth task, especially when it comes to getting the details right. Many will pay attention to the music featured in the film, while others will cast a careful eye on the clothing worn by the actors who play Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. After all, Queen’s outfits went hand in hand with their music and formed a large part of their rock and roll identity.
The whole point of Queen was to be original. How much did Day honour that vision and how meticulous was he with specifics and research? What was your immediate reaction when you learned that you would be costuming Bohemian Rhapsody? They’ve all got their own distinctive style. And they’ve had a lot of incarnations over the years. So it was an exciting project to do.
While Malek got the gig in part from his singing — i went to Zandra and got her to reproduce the exact top in lighter fabric. Malek and Boynton; top 40 Official UK Singles Archive». The 30 Most Filthy Rich Actors and Actresses, their lead singer quits, released as a single and as part of the «Queen Dance Traxx I» compilation. While he was nervous beyond all comprehension — this stadium rock anthem was recorded in 1977 for the album News of the World. Supernova act Ally.
What did you learn about Queen’s style while you were working on the film that you didn’t know before? Julian Day: I went to see the Queen archives. Brian May had a lot of original Zandra Rhodes clothes. Apparently, Freddie Mercury went to Zandra Rhodes, and she was doing a fitting for a wedding dress. And she chopped the dress in half and gave it to him. Whether that’s true, I don’t know.
If you could choose one Freddie Mercury outfit from the film that characteristically defines Bohemian Rhapsody, what would it be? Julian Day: I do like the angel because it has so much energy. It’s almost sort of a piece of theatre. And then there’s the crown and the military jacket with the leather trousers. I read that Brian May invited you to his clothing archives. Julian Day: When we started shooting Live Aid, I met Brian May for the first time, and we went through all his looks.
And he was silent the whole time. Why don’t you come to my house and we’ll go through my entire wardrobe and you can take some of my clothes. He lent me actual items of his clothes that he still uses. 1970s Ealing, London, is where the film begins and Freddie Mercury grew up. The colours were more subdued for Britain at the time.
What was the film’s color palette like? Julian Day: I worked with the production designer to create a palette for the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. And it’s the idea that the colours were still vibrant, but they were more like a curry and you have all those beautiful Indian spices and colours. When we went into the 70s, it became slightly more lurid, bright and more primary. And when we got to the 80s, it became more neon. Mercury worked in London’s Kensington Market during the 70s, so he knew about style. What do you think his clothing at that time said about him? Julian Day: The 70s were influenced by the 1930s. He worked with Mary Austin and then she worked at Biba. They put her at the front of the store because she was like the face of Biba. He was quite influenced by her. In our film, she guides him through fashion. He wore blouses from the 1930s and furs. Slightly more risqué, sensual clothes with beautiful fabrics and bit of fur.
You’ve said that even though he was quite flamboyant, he was quite macho as well. How did you outfit both aspects of him? Julian Day: The silks, and the big blouses and big sleeves and fur and all of those luxurious fabrics that move delicately: he was very much about dance. He wore ballet shoes a lot. Even in Live Aid, he wore adidas boxing boots because he was into movement. He went to New York and discovered Mineshaft, the gay night club in the Meatpacking District and there was a sign in the front where you weren’t allowed to wear sportswear, this or that or perfume. What do you think Mercury would wear today? Julian Day: I think he’d wear the simplest of clothes. And I don’t think he would be completely exaggerated.