POPSUGAR: How long did it take to make one gown?
Paolo Nieddu: In house, it all depended. The pearl beaded dress she wears when she starts singing "Strange Fruit" was made by Susana Vera, who was my amazing dressmaker in Montreal. Her and her team of tailors probably worked on that dress for two weeks, using a rubber mallet to smash beads so they could sew seams. With the Prada pieces that were created, I got the conversation going in July and had them by October.
PS: How did you work with Prada on these looks?
PN: The yellow dress was a collaboration with Prada, based on a dress from a picture of Billie I saw that I really liked. That's how a lot of the Prada pieces came to be. I had sent them the pictures of Billie that I liked, going through director Lee Daniels. He chose his favorites, and then we sent them off. I just said to them "yellow" because at the time we did not have locations. I was looking at a black-and-white photo of Billie and then found Prada archival pieces that represented the same elements of Billie's dress in this beautiful, warm, luxe-y, yellow swatch of silk.