How Priscilla Presley’s Wedding Dress Was Remade For the New “Elvis” Movie
Olivia DeJonge plays Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 “Elvis” film, which stars Austin Butler as the King of Rock and Roll. The biopic documents Elvis Presley’s relationship with his former manager Colonel Tom Parker (portrayed by Tom Hanks) and Parker’s impact on the decline of Elvis’s career. Throughout, we see a glimpse into his life and, naturally, his relationship with Priscilla, whom he married on May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas. Luhrmann’s wife, costume designer Catherine Martin, of “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby” fame, worked with her team to re-create a version of the wedding dress Priscilla found on the racks while she was shopping in disguise in Memphis, TN, so as not to lead any trail of evidence she’d be getting married. The dress, bought at retail and tried on only once in the dead of night, was complete with long bishop sleeves beaded, embroidered with lace, and clad with a row of buttons on each wrist. It was finished with a three-foot veil, topped with a rhinestone tiara, and Priscilla dyed her hair a darker shade of brown to match Elvis’s.
Martin, who collaborated with Miuccia Prada on much of Priscilla’s ’60s wardrobe and also commissioned vintage pieces for the movie (which features a whopping 9,000 outfits), believes the wedding dress to be the most spot-on replica seen in all 159 minutes of the film, though we only see it briefly. “We had detailed photos from the archive of what the lace looked like, and we bought several different laces that were all lovingly sewn together to re-create the look as closely as possible,” Martin explains to POPSUGAR. “It was entirely hand-beaded and pearled and had several layers of chiffon with a silk underlining. A tulle border was hand-sewn on the hem so that it floated perfectly when Priscilla walked. The top part of the dress is so intricate and the bottom so simple and effortless. Sometimes, those things are the most difficult to do, especially in white or in bridal, because they end up feeling worked over and too touched.”
According to Martin, DeJonge couldn’t believe how real and beautiful the gown looked during her first fitting. “It was a pleasure to see all this beautiful handwork on Olivia’s live physique. It was ethereal and otherworldly,” she says.
As for the accessories, Martin had a seamstress who had perfected ballet wire crowns work on the fixture for the veil, which was made out of silk jewel. While we don’t get a peek at the bridal shoes in the movie, Martin confirms them to be ivory satin ’50s stiletto pumps that were actually ballroom-dancing shoes — nearly identical to the closed-toe silhouette Priscilla did indeed wear on her wedding day and a bridal shoe recommendation of Martin’s, since they are tall enough to provide elevation, made nude to blend into the leg, and stable enough to dance in.
Ahead, see historical images from the 1967 press conference and Champagne breakfast that was organized by Elvis’s team with a five-foot-tall, six-tier cake and shows him in a Lambert Marks-designed black paisley silk brocade suit and cowboy boots, to coordinate with Priscilla.
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