Gucci's "Once Upon a Time in America": The Fashion Roundup

Zina Tasreen , 22 May 2012
Gucci's Creative Director Frida Giannini with cast of 'Once Upon A Time in America' at the red carpet (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)
Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini with cast of ‘Once Upon A Time in America’ at the red carpet (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

Hey, have you watched the classic gangster film Once Upon a Time in America? Much to my embarrassment, I haven’t. It was meant to be 4 hours 29 minutes long, but was brutally chopped by the studio against Director Sergio Leone‘s wishes to 2 hours and 19 minutes, which most definitely is the version you’ve seen. In March 2011 Gucci decided to sponsor the restoration of the original 269 minute footage. Well, it’s done now and I’m so tempted to check it out in its full glory, if it means sitting through 4.5 hours. Its world premiere took place on the Day 3 of the Cannes Film Festival ‒ and boy, do we have a lot to talk about, errr, fashion-wise that is!

Salma Hayek-Pinault in Gucci Première at the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Salma Hayek-Pinault in Gucci Première at the premiere of ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images) 

Since it was a Gucci event, Salma Hayek-Pinault had to be there (she’s married to Gucci’s parent group PPR‘s head honcho, François-Henri Pinault). It was a floor length fully embroidered Gucci Première (Gucci’s couture line ‒ although it’s not a licensed couture house yet) gown for her. And I was not at all impressed. The overlapping deep aubergine coloured cuvettes with a degrade of beading opening onto layers of nude tulle at the lower part of skirt looked kinda tacky to me, I’m afraid. Salma just shouldn’t have gone for this gown, I mean, look at her poor Bristols, so squashed they are. And her make-up! A horror show. Sorry, Salma. The only redeeming feature from this look is her pale blush satin evening clutch by Gucci, which I would… actually… like… FOR MYSELF!

Salma Hayek in some lovely Boucheron jewels (Photo courtesy | Boucheron)
Salma Hayek in an intriguing lovely Boucheron bracelet (Photo courtesy | Boucheron)

And oh, the yellow gold and leopard-wood bracelet set with diamonds and rubies from Boucheron archives dating back to 1986 was not bad either ;-)

Gemma Arterton in Gucci Première at the red carpet of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Gemma Arterton in Gucci Première at the red carpet of ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)  

Bond girl Gemma Arterton also went for a Gucci Première gown, a grey tulle floor-length sleeveless v-neck number. The all-over linear embroidery of oyster grey crystals and beads on the gown is an impressive spot of workmanship. She finished off her look with some Gucci fine jewellery, 18K yellow gold diamantissima drop earrings. As exquisite as the gown was, the colour simply washed Gemma out. This look was crying for a pop of colour, even in the form of some bold lippie, but alas, it was not to be.

Jennifer Connelly in Gucci Première at the red carpet of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Jennifer Connelly in Gucci Première at the red carpet of ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)  

Another Gucci Première gown was seen on Jennifer Connelly. It was a black silk crepe strapless gown with a cross panel detail on the bodice and a pleated train ‒ simple yet so stunning. I’m so lusting after that black python box clutch, by Gucci too!

Jennifer Connelly in the Boucheron 'Vague' bracelet at the "Once Upon a Time in America" premiere (Photo courtesy | Boucheron)
Jennifer Connelly in the Boucheron ‘Vague’ bracelet at the “Once Upon a Time in America” premiere (Photo courtesy | Boucheron)

Boucheron ‘Vague’ yellow gold bracelet set with diamonds and sapphires, dating from 1947 and some striking lip colour rounded off her look. So effortlessly chic, the best-dressed of the event for me!

Charlotte Casiraghi in custom Gucci at the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Charlotte Casiraghi in custom Gucci at the premiere of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

Charlotte Casiraghi ‒ yep, the Monaco heiress and the face of Gucci “Now Forever” campaign ‒ wore a custom forest-green Gucci number. The silk georgette halter neck gown featuring plunging neckline and cascading ruffle details would’ve been my pick of the night were it not for the sloppy fitting around the bust area. The high-heeled gold evening sandals (also by Gucci) nicely complemented the lush colour of the gown. And her Gucci black suede clutch! Oh yes, I’m lusting after that too!

Bella Heathcote in Gucci A/W'12
Bella Heathcote in Gucci A/W’12 at the premiere of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

The Australian actress Bella Heathcote went for a brandy floral printed silk georgette halter neck evening gown from Gucci’s A/W’12 line. The gown also has pretty ruffle detail around the neck, but sadly, that’s lost within the eye-catching print. I don’t know, I’m not quite liking this gown, maybe because of the print. The black crocodile evening clutch by Gucci was very nice ‒ I WANT! You know, Salma’s make-up would’ve nicely complemented the gothic vibe of Bella’s dress.

Natasha Poly in Gucci A/W'12 at the red carpet of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Natasha Poly in Gucci A/W’12 at the red carpet of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)
Natasha Poly at the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Leg-off with Angie’s right leg

Model Natasha Poly also picked something from the A/W’12 line, an emerald green printed velvet gown with plunging v-neck detail and thigh-high split. And guess what? Her legs (alternately between left and right) were doing a leg-off with Angie’s right leg all evening :-p I first saw this gown back in February on the opening day of Milan Fashion Week and… I hated it then, I hate it now. The overexposed chest, the dangerously-high split… Blatantly sexy, but it just ain’t classy.  Emerald and white diamond briolet-cut earrings from de GRISOGONO completed her look.

Li Bingbing in Gucci Première at the red carpet of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Li Bingbing in Gucci Première at the red carpet of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

Li Bingbing, a Chinese actress and singer, was majestic in her pale yellow strapless Gucci Première pale yellow strapless evening gown. The layers of gathered silk tulle draped vertically over a corset down to a full multilayered skirt looked so delicate. And the embroidery ‒ of a motif of tonal flowing leaves in transparent pale glass yellow bugels and jonquil crystals ‒ from bust across the waist and hips was as intricate as can be. This. Is. Couture.

Zhu Zhu & Lapo Elkann in Gucci at the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Gucci-clad Zhu Zhu & Lapo Elkann at the premiere of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

Zhu Zhu, a Chinese actress, and Lapo Elkann, the Fiat scion, made quite the dashing monochromatic pair at the red carpet. It was a backless black-and-white silk crepe custom Gucci cocktail dress for her, and WOH! She looked… SMOKIN’. Lapo Elkann looked proper spiffy in a white double-breasted tuxedo with black wide peak lapels (Gucci?) and suede slippers. On paper it should not work, but he carries it off with élan.

Isabella Ferrari attends the 'Once Upon A Time in America' premiere in custom Gucci
Isabella Ferrari attends the ‘Once Upon A Time in America’ premiere in custom Gucci (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images) 

Isabella Ferrari, an Italian actress, wore a long sleeve open back silk crepe custom Gucci gown that had a jet bugle beaded top and draped skirt with asymmetrical front slit and cascading train, black high heeled sandals with gold detail and black crocodile evening clutch. Indeed she looked fine!

Frida Giannini with partner Patrizio di Marco (who also happens to be Gucci's CEO!) at the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time in America'
Frida Giannini with partner Patrizio di Marco (who also happens to be Gucci’s CEO!) at the premiere of  ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative head, wore a custom Gucci (obvi!) black strapless silk crepe gown with a long sleeved sheer chiffon overlay featuring jet beaded ruffle detail at the neck. Sorry Frida, didn’t like!

Frida Giannini's sketch of Livia Firth's "Green Carpet Challenge" gown
Frida Giannini’s sketch of Livia Firth’s “Green Carpet Challenge” gown (Photo courtesy| Gucci)

Livia Firth, as part of her Green Carpet Challenge, went for a gun metal strapless bio silk custom Gucci gown featuring a short sleeved draped top and finished with a black bio silk satin ribbon detail around the arms, neck and waist with bio silk high heeled evening sandals and a grey bio silk evening clutch. Don’t have any pictures but the gown sounds well lush!

Frida Giannini's sketch of Elizabeth McGovern's "Green Carpet Challenge" gown
Frida Giannini’s sketch of Elizabeth McGovern’s “Green Carpet Challenge” gown (Photo courtesy| Gucci)

Elizabeth McGovern too participated in Livia’s Green Carpet Challenge initiative and hence had a Gucci gown custom-made for her in biodegradable materials. Her ensemble consisted of a white bio silk georgette cap sleeved gown with plunging v-neck detail with white bio silk high heeled evening sandals.

Elizabeth McGovern & Livia Firth (Photo courtesy | Gucci)
Elizabeth McGovern & Livia Firth (Photo courtesy | Gucci)

Also present at the screening were Ginerva Elkann, Clara Paget, James Woods, Paul Bettany, Simon Curtis, Andrew Dominik, Robert Di Nero, Ennio Morricone, Alexander Payne and François-Henri Pinault.

Ennio Marricone (the film's composer) and wife attend the 'Once Upon a Time in America' premiere
Ennio Marricone (the film’s composer) and wife attend the ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ premiere (Photo courtesy| Gucci/Getty Images)

P.S. If you were wondering… The film was restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in association with Andrea Leone Films, The Film Foundation and Regency Enterprises. For the new restoration, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) scanned the original camera negatives of the 3 hour and 49 minute version and the picture was digitally restored at 4K resolution at Cineteca di Bologna’s lab L’Immagine Ritrovata. Cineteca di Bologna worked with the Leone Family, film historians, and the film’s original crew (Franco Ferrini, one of the film’s screenwriters, executive producer Claudio Mancini, editors Patrizia Ceresani and Alessandro Baragli, and sound mixer Fausto Ancillai) to find and re-insert 26 minutes of additional footage that had not made the European and US release cuts – where Leone had originally intended them, using the original screenplay and the beginning and end frames of the cut scenes to identify the exact place from which they were deleted.

'Once Upon a Time in America' posters
‘Once Upon a Time in America’ posters

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