Priscilla Presley’s Life in Looks

Scene from Priscilla

After watching Sofia Coppola’s, “Priscilla,” I was not only inspired by Priscilla Presley’s life story, but also by her keen fashion sense. From a young school girl to Elvis Presley’s muse and more, Priscilla adapted an iconic sense of style.

When Priscilla met Elvis in 1959, she was only 14. Coppola portrays Priscilla in very bland “school-going” outfits, consisting of sweaters, long plaid skirts and sailor dresses. Historically, the night she met Elvis, she was wearing a sailor dress. The immaturity of Priscilla’s style shines a spotlight on the age gap between Elvis and Priscilla.

Priscilla’s enticing story with fashion starts with her move to Graceland in 1963. Though she wears a uniform at school, her style elevates immensely. She has a strong hair and makeup look that consists of heavy black eye makeup complementary to her voluminous black hair.

Priscilla’s consistent appearance of perfection portrays how much control Elvis had over her. Coppola includes scenes in the movie where he is taking control of her look. He has certain preferences and opinions that didn’t always align with Priscilla’s. Coppola includes a scene where Elvis explains to Priscilla that patterns do not suit her.

The 1960’s were a whirlwind of looks from Priscilla. From late nights in Vegas, her wedding, and the birth of Lisa Marie, Priscilla put a chic twist on 1960’s fashion.

Priscilla’s wedding look was simple, yet elegant. She wore a modest yet fabulous mock-neck dress with lace detailing. Her hair and makeup were both jet black—the way Elvis liked them.

Another standout Priscilla look took place in 1970. Her iconic family portrait with Elvis. Her hair is not as black and her makeup is not as bold. This is one of the first times throughout the movie we see Priscilla in pants. She sports a mock-neck lavender blouse with deep purple trousers. The audience gets the sense that Priscilla is beginning to assert her independence through fashion.

As Priscilla’s marriage starts to fail, we see a different side of her style. Her hair is not as black, her makeup is not as dark and she is not dressing to impress Elvis. She starts to tap into the styles of the 70’s. She is truly, and finally, separating herself from the charismatic hold Elvis had on her. This is my favorite era of Priscilla’s style. It feels more authentically her than ever before. We see her style from this era reflected today in young performers like Lana Del Ray.

Priscilla’s style throughout Coppola’s film reflects the culture and her relationship to the “King of Rock and Roll.”

“Priscilla” is currently playing in theaters. MPAA rated R for drug use and language.