Hey there my lovelies,
Welcome back to my Blog!
#ICYMI … my IG stories or photos was featuring some of the #highlights of my recent trip to Florence, now already 2 weeks ago [ 😦 ]. One of the places on my to go list was the obviously the Gucci Garden Gallery! The VERY original gallery of the iconic Italian fashion house made me feel like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, I clutched my golden (or in this case pink) ticket and made my way through the gallery, jaw permanently dropped and mobile at the ready to capture it all. My premise to you is that these photos don’t do the exhibit justice, so if you’re a fashion lover and find yourself in Florence, put the Gucci gallery at the top of your list! Keep reading to see inside the Gucci Garden!
Gucci garden can be found in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence which building dates back to 1337, situated next door to Palazzo Vecchio and a few steps away from the Uffizi Gallery in Piazza della Signoria. The medieval location is in sync with Alessandro Michele’s aesthetic and the designer has seamlessly blended his own style with that of the storied venue.
As stated above, the brainchild behind the concept of this gallery, is of course, the superstar creative director Alessandro Michele, who has made Gucci the IT luxury brand since he took the helm in 2015. As the rules of luxury change, it is vital that high-end brands become more experience and consumer centrist. The fact that Gucci has created this gallery, is to blur the lines between food, lifestyle, fashion, history and art making its new concept store so significant. Gucci isn’t just looking to feed consumers, its future-proofing its appeal as a lifestyle brand through experience and in doing so, it has just defined the new normal in luxury retail.
The Gucci Garden is composed of three parts – the shop, its gallery, and the surprisingly affordably priced restaurant, however I did not manage to eat there as it was all the time booked with returning patrons and did not feel right to take photos of people eating. The restaurant is managed by none other than Massimo Bottura of the famous Osteria Francescana, based in Modena, to helm the 50-seat restaurant, the Gucci Osteria serving Italian classics, like Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini, pork buns, and mushroom risotto that are sure to be as deliciously decadent as the fashions produced by Gucci.
After getting my ticket (which was gifted to me by the sweetest girl ever Martina (Side note : I would like to thank Martina for making me feel welcome at the Gucci gallery– it was an experience like no other. It is a fact that to date I cannot afford any luxury item, and for this instance, I never walk into a luxury store if I am not going to buy something, as obviously I feel it is not my place. However, that said Martina and the whole team at the Gucci Garden gallery made me feel so welcome and was so happy to have experienced it for myself. After all. that is also the intention behind the place, to enter the world of luxury without feeling less than you are. So from myheart thank you to the whole Gucci Garden team!). As I was saying, the ticket costs Eur8 with half of the fee donated to support restoration projects around the city of Florence which is pretty great 🙂
When you enter the building, you can venture into the first section, which is the shop part of the garden. You can walk around, touch the garments, try them on even, and soak up all the Gucci in the room. Everything was washed in Gucci branded colours and it felt like someone had turned the saturation up on reality, but in the best way possible. I want my home (and more importantly, my wardrobe) to look like this (well in my dreams at least!) I believe that Mr. Michele dubs the world’s best gift shop. Echoing the now closed Colette, the store features Gucci collectibles that will make their way onto the booming resale market. There are, equally, attempts to make the brand more accessible through its more affordable items such as objects for the home, whose prices are very different from the brand’s coveted Marmont shoulder bag. Gucci Garden comprises a boutique that carries exclusive ready-to-wear ittems, such as silk bomber jackets that feature the Gucci Garden Gothic script; accessories, and special items, such as whimsical carillons, and pieces with new motifs such as the bat and the eye design.
The six rooms on two floors are divided by theme, starting from the GG logo. Delving into the rich archives that date back to 1921, the logo is seen in its various iterations from a graphic, cube style to a more rounded one hovering among dolphins on colorful dresses from the Seventies, to the more recent take by Michele on the puff-sleeved bomber jacket inspired by Dapper Dan or the tote created in collaboration with Trevor Andrew, or GucciGhost.
The second of the six rooms highlights some of the staples of the brand, such as the striped web or the stirrup that are part of the horse-riding references — seen, for example, on the iconic white liquid gown designed by Tom Ford — to the bamboo handle and the Jackie Bag. The next room harks back to the trunk and luggage-making origins of the brand and its founder Guccio Gucci’s early days as a busboy at the Savoy Hotel in London. The wall of suitcases, which include models made with zebra and elephant skins from the Thirties as well as a leather sack for dirty laundry or a tennis racket case, is impressive.
On the second floor there are two rooms dedicated to Nature, which is not only a favorite theme of Michele’s but a Gucci staple. Artist Vittorio Accornero’s drawings for the brand’s foulards, which included the famous Flora print from 1966, hang on the walls, and one could easily mistake an Eighties floral dress for one of Michele’s own recent designs displayed nearby. In one glass case, the red pussy bow men’s shirt that was part of Michele’s first collection as creative director — one said to have been put together in five days — is shown near Ford’s silk bomber jacket with Japanese erotic drawings. In the nearby room, draped in a pale pink, pleated fabric, a selection of pieces, ranging from a pony-hair and metal flask to a needlepoint bag with mother-of-pearl details, from the Fifties and Sixties, respectively, are displayed in glass cases.
So that’s a little (and hopefully interesting) insight into the Gucci Garden! I’m so happy I was able to go see this unique project and also capture most of it for you.
Let me know what you guys thought of this post – it would mean the world to me
Until next time,