The new issue of WSJ.com features Frida Giannini and the Museo Gucci which recently opened in Florence to celebrate the brand's 90 year history - both the highs & not-so-highs. "Nearly every great fashion house has experienced its low points and for Gucci that came in the ‘80’s," notes the article about the legion of logoed goods churned out in plastic, not to mention the unqualified family members designing their own collections.
However, since 2005 when Giannini took over design duties from Tom Ford, she has steadily been restablishing the reputation of the Italian house as a bastion of luxe that hearkens back to the days of the "credentialed jet-set brand of yore, when gentlemen lounged in Gucci loafers and Jackie Onassis toted her own Gucci "Jackie" bag."
Giannini also discusses reintroducing Flora, arguably one of her best-known accomplishments so far as Creative Director: "I wanted to do something for accessories that was very feminine, more sensual, more delicate, instead of the abrasive sexiness of the ‘90’s. To me it was stupid to just repeat the same things as Tom Ford because I am a different designer. I am a women, he is a man. It’s another era…"
The same could be said of the Flora pattern itself - which dates back to the mid-1960s when it was originally created for Grace Kelly. "I never had the courage to propose it to Tom because I was afraid Tom would cancel it," continues Giannini about the somewhat jarring contrast of sweet botanical prints against Ford's G-string-clad Good Time Girls in dripping-sex ensembles.
- Lesley Scott