What’s the saying…You wait years for a new biopic about the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, and then the next thing, two come along at once.
But where Baz Luhrmann’s, Elvis (2022) follows the King’s journey and relationship with his controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker, 2023’s Priscilla focuses on the woman who stuck by him through thick and thin. From the young and pretty teenager smitten with the superstar, to the idolized wife and mother, costume designer Stacey Battat brought the story of a troubled girl to life through the use of the Priscilla outfits, along with the hair, make-up and advice from the woman herself.
Priscilla’s Innocent Teenage Years Before Graceland
Based on Priscilla Presley’s own memoir Elvis and Me the movie opens in 1959, when Priscilla was just an innocent and naive fourteen year old high-school student living in West Germany. When her Priscilla outfits were full of demure dresses, skirts and cardigans fit for any teenage girl of the era.
Priscilla Beaulieu’s Demure Check Skirt and Cardigan Outfit
It wasn’t just the shock of being asked if she knew who Elvis Presley was, as she sat in her local soda shop doing her homework. Looking every inch the perfectly reserved and innocent young lady, in her soft pink cardigan sweater, white blouse and complimentary gray checked 50’s style full skirt. Fourteen year old Priscilla was understandably more than a little surprised to then be invited to one of his boisterous house parties.
Pastel Blue, Bow Accents and Meeting Elvis for the First Time in Priscilla
Almost completely unrecognizable as the woman that she would transform into, the Priscilla with light brown hair, full bangs and ponytail is the version that first captivated Elvis’ heart. Wearing her simple pastel blue collar shift dress, with an accent bow, to meet the superstar for the first time. With the youthful Priscilla outfit the perfect representation of the, soon to be couples, ten year age gap.
The Blue-and-brown Plaid Dress for Priscilla’s Goodbye Look
It isn’t just the forlorn look in Priscilla’s eyes as she waves Elvis off at Frankfurt airport after his military service is complete, that makes this scene appear dark and dejected. The colors are muted, with her belted blue-and-brown check dress, quiet and reserved with its high wide boat neckline and full skirt. Aiming for a perfect recreation of the real-life look, costume designer Stacey Battat also added her brown wool coat and silky headscarf to finish the outfit off.
The representation of control through Priscilla’s clothing, make-up and hair.
Priscilla’s Transformation into Elvis’ Wife and her Life at Graceland
Written, directed and produced by Sofia Coppola, Priscilla is really the story from behind the closed doors of one of the world’s biggest marriages. Showcasing the isolation and pressure that came with being Elvis’ partner, and the transformation that the Priscilla outfits and the young girl herself went through.
Priscilla’s Innocent Pink Sweater, Black Pants and Homework
Possibly with less persuasion than it would take now-a-days, seventeen year old Priscilla’s parents agreed that she could move to Graceland and finish high school in Memphis while living with Elvis. Although not intended to come across as an inappropriate relationship, the difference between their lives and ages are hard to forget. Especially as Priscilla is seen, dressed in her fuzzy bright pink short sleeve sweater and black capri pants doing her homework, while Elvis tours the world.
The Blue One Shoulder Las Vegas Dress in Priscilla
Just like Elvis, a lavish trip to Las Vegas calls for dressing up, or tying something new. And for a still teenage Priscilla, who hadn’t quite convinced her parents to let her move to Graceland yet, that meant a bolder outfit and make-up choices. Stepping onto the casino floor in a striking figure hugging one-shoulder gown, in blue and adorned with a large shoulder bow, all eyes were on her. Especially with her new experimental smokey eyeshadow and cat-like eyeliner.
Cailee Spaeny’s Pink Dresses and Bouffant Hair as Priscilla Presley
With most of the movie being set during the Graceland portion of the couple’s doomed relationship, it seems fitting that this is where nearly all of the 120 Priscilla outfits are worn. Meaning bright coral pinks, blues and soft pastel shades make up almost the entirety of her wardrobe. With the fitted bodies and pinched waists, above the full skirts, of her pink dresses paired with her new bouffant hairstyle showing this is early in her transformation into the Priscila we all knew.
Priscilla’s Elvis Approved Subtle Print Outfits in Priscilla
Not a fan of brown, that reminded him of the army, or large silhouettes, everything was brightly colored shift dresses. With even big prints and patterns a no-go, that didn’t stop Priscilla wearing her ditsy flower covered black dress or her white polka dot two-piece in his stylish company.
Youthful and Innocent: The White Priscilla Outfits from the Priscilla Movie
Not just influencing, and dictating, the colors and silhouettes of the Pricilla outfits, Elvis was a big advocate for always dressing up and looking your best. Never coming downstairs until he was fully dressed in either his flawlessly tailored suits, knitted jackets or dark colored pants, and he expected the same of Priscilla.
But aside from all her bold pinks and pastel blues, Priscilla also wore a lot of youthful white, which gave her a simple innocence that reflected her young age. Working in a lovely contrast to her black hair and dark eyeliner, her simple daisy dresses, white wool coats and even her effortless lace wedding gown, were the epitome of fashion. Setting trends all over the world, as every girl stole her look, hoping to find their own Elvis Presley.
Priscilla and her Postpartum Bright Pink Shift Dress
After Cailee Spaeny, who also starred in the The Craft: Legacy (which was not as good as the original but still had our favorite wiccan Nancy Downs in it), went through her transformation for the role, complete with ever bigger black bouffant wigs and cat-like eyeliner. It was hard to tell her apart from the real Priscilla. Especially when you compare the photos of when they both wore a bright pink shift dress, with long sleeves and pointy collar, to show off precious new baby daughter Lisa Marie Presley.
The Cracks are Starting to Show: Priscilla’s Outfits After Elvis
After watching through her eyes the love, loneliness and vulnerability that followed Priscilla from a German Army base, to the dream-world of Graceland. There was only one more transformation for the Priscilla outfits to go through. The unraveling of a marriage, and finding herself again.
Unraveling: Priscilla’s Bright Yet Understated Purple Outfit
It was the 1970’s, and this family photo shoot saw the first cracks publically appearing in the Presley marriage. Elvis was now fully into his Las Vegas residency, with his long hair, large sideburns and flamboyant suits. And Priscilla saw the chance to step out of his shadow.
Yet although her two-tone purple look is bold and bright, the outfit has an understated feel to it. With the purple pants, which she rarely wore, and smocked lilac puff sleeve blouse reserved and soft, just like her long wavy dark brown hair and tanned fresh faced complexion.
The White Button-up Shirt for Priscilla’s Final Goodbye Look
Living separate lives on diverging paths Priscilla eventually tells Elvis she is filing for divorce. With the movie ending as she drives away from Graceland, one last time, in a subtly striped puff sleeve white button-up blouse and pants. The closest she has looked to the innocent and naive fourteen year old girl that was once excited to go to Elvis’ boisterous house party in 1959’s West Germany.
Even though you probably watched Priscilla as either a diehard Elvis fan, or to find out the real story of the couple’s troubled relationship, it is ok to now think you would probably watch it again just to look at the Priscilla outfits one more time. And with her captivating style changing from a demure teenager in West Germany to the black bouffant haired wife of the King of Rock and Roll, who could blame you.