MUBI and THE FACE threw a Priscilla watch party with its costume designer

Ahead of the premiere of Sofia Coppola’s new movie on MUBI, we teamed up with the streaming platform and invited guests to a special screening, featuring a Q&A with the film’s costume designer Stacey Battat.

Priscilla has entered the building! In cinematic form anyway. Last week, MUBI and THE FACE hosted a joint watch party and Q&A session for Priscilla, Sofia Coppola’s latest film following the titular icon (played by Cailee Spaeny) and Elvis (Jacob Elordi) through a whirlwind relationship, gorgeous get-ups, acid trips and more than turbulent marriage.

The event was in support of Tailor Made, the new season of MUBI’s podcast which zooms in on iconic costume design and the major fashion looks they inspired. Fittingly, a recent episode focuses on Coppola, featuring the director herself, charting her silver screen style evolution from The Virgin Suicides to, of course, Priscilla.

To celebrate, friends of MUBI, THE FACE and Coppola aficionados attended the Picturehouse Central cinema in London’s West End, snapped by photographer Alex Lambert. Suitably refreshed after a drinks reception and rifling through the goodie bags (featuring a bespoke Priscilla compact mirror to keep your winged eyeliner on point), we listened to event host and film critic Christina Newland set the scene. The style is the film’s substance,” she said, outlining the movie’s glittering visuals before the lights were dimmed and the film rolled.

It didn’t disappoint. Decadently shot and beautifully textured, Priscilla oozes glamour, but it also shines the spotlight on the darker side of the couple’s relationship. The clothes are envy-inducing, too; Priscilla’s wardrobe spans preppy plaid skirts through to luxe lingerie and decadent party dresses, all matching her bouffant hairdo. Elvis’ style, meanwhile, starts with super sharp tailoring before morphing into embroidered dressing gowns, signature swamping collars and out-of-control sideburns.

To unpack this stuffed suitcase of excellent fits, Priscilla costume designer and longtime collaborator Stacey Battat joined Newland in conversation, coming over especially from New York for the occasion.

The duo began by discussing Priscilla’s pristine appearance, helped by the fact that 90 per cent of the costumes were designed rather than sourced. I felt it was really important for Priscilla to have new clothes rather than something we found that had been faded by the sun. She always had something brand new that Elvis had bought her,” Battat said. I always thought she should look perfect and a bit like a doll,” she continued.

Two photographs of the couple inspired the moodboard: an early one featuring Priscilla in a lavender blouse and a rather risque for the time midriff-baring resort look. As did a stack of vintage publications. I looked at a lot of magazines from 1959 to 1975 and pulled out references from adverts,” Battat explained, noting the move towards brazen, rather than secret, hair-dyeing during the 70s.

And while she and Coppola weren’t keen to disturb” the real-life Priscilla too much, she did give them a few tidbits. She did tell us that Elvis and Priscilla never came downstairs without being fully dressed,” Battat explained. Plus, the scene where Priscilla puts on fake eyelashes before she goes to hospital to give birth? Yeah, that genuinely happened.

Q&A over, everyone left with the same thing in mind – where the heck can I get a pair of go-go boots? But, if you didn’t manage to make it to Picturehouse Central, Priscilla is now available on MUBI. So make an evening of it sprawled in bed, Presley-style, with a bottle of Coca-Cola. And a dressing gown embroidered with your initials, obviously.

Priscilla is streaming exclusively on MUBI now. MUBI is currently offering THE FACE readers 30 days for free

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