Instead of working with the original dress, Stacey Battat referenced old images from the iconic couple's 1961 wedding
Priscilla Presley’s wedding look is perhaps one of her most iconic, though when tasked with recreating it for Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, costume designer Stacey Battat tells PEOPLE that she never actually got her hands on it.
“Maybe they were in some archive boxes at Graceland, I don't know,” Battat says while explaining that she never saw any of Presley’s famous looks in person when designing costumes for the film. “But yeah, I never saw the real dress.”
Instead, she worked with several photographs of the gown Priscilla wore on her May 1, 1961 wedding to Elvis. Battat sent the images to Chanel who created the dress for the film which stars Cailee Spaeny in the titular role and Jacob Elordi as the King. (The original dress was actually purchased off the rack by Priscilla, per Vogue.)
To recreate the look, Battat looked at some of Chanel creative director Virginie Viard’s older collections, where they found the lace they wanted to use before the team at the fashion house drew up four options to choose from.
While it might seem like not having the original dress on hand would be a disadvantage, Battat says it actually came with benefits.
“It's important to see it, but if you're not able to see it it is also almost better,” she says, explaining that while the looks are inspired by the real pieces of clothing, they have to also suit the actors wearing them.
“If that purple blouse, for example,” she says, referencing the look Priscilla wore in the famous family photo alongside Elvis in a blue suit and a young Lisa Marie Presley. “I can't remember the exact number, but let's say it had 12 lines of ruching. For Cailee [Spaeny], we did ten, because that's her body. To make it feel proportional and right.”
She adds, “I feel like even if it looks really, really authentic, which I do think ours do look really authentic, I think they're always some sort of an interpretation.”
Battat explains that the pair's wedding in the film is a “culmination” of sorts of their years-long romance.
“It is once Cinderella goes to the castle," she continues. “And then maybe that's when things begin to unravel. It's only once you get the thing that you want that you're able to look at it clearly.”
The couple would eventually divorce in 1972, though as Priscilla told PEOPLE a year after the entertainer’s death in 1977, "It was like we were never divorced.”
"We would say 'Mommy said this' and 'Daddy said that.' That helped Lisa to feel stable,” she said of the pair's only daughter, who died at age 54 in Jan. 2023.
Ahead of Priscilla's premiere on Nov. 3, Coppola opened up to PEOPLE about the significance of costumes in the film.
“The costumes are really important in showing her character and her transformation from being a teenage girl to a grown woman,” she said. “And all of the details, Stacey Battat, our costume designer, did an amazing job and really showed what she was going through emotionally. We wanted to contrast how young and innocent she was in the beginning to going into Graceland and becoming his ideal and ultimately finding herself.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.