I think of this movie as My Fair Lady but with prostitution. Gigi is weird — it’s a lively musical with splashy, vaguely 1900s costumes, and the whole story revolves around selling off a pretty young girl to dirty old men. The original story is a famous French novelette, but the Lerner and Lowe musical is a little too Americanized to make sense. I’m not going to recap the movie because Tom + Lorenzo already did a brilliant job here. Let’s just talk about the costumes.
In some ways, Gigi is a test-run for My Fair Lady (1964). Famed photographer and designer Cecil Beaton created the costumes for Gigi and then did the same for My Fair Lady. He won the Best Costume Oscar for both films. They both have his stamp, with vivifd Technicolor used to tell the story and exaggerated historical details mixed with then-contemporary fashion. The costumes work carefully together with the set design as well, particularly in Aunt Alicia’s florid red parlor where Gigi learns most of her “lessons.”