Fashion Evolution: Their Love Affair with Gucci

If Darwin were to study the fashion world, how should a brand evolve into a better fashion house?
Think of a fashion house as a person, and every designer who has played a creative role in it is a love affair. Relationships are like sunsets and sunrises, and they must come to an end. The question for everyone is how to deal with lovers after separation.
Not every brand is as lucky as Chanel to have met Karl Lagerfeld, and not every fashion house can get along with its designer. In fact, Alber Elbaz and Lanvin have both lost, and Daniel Lee’s departure from Bottega Veneta has been criticized by the public. But Tom Ford, Frida Giannini and Alessandro Michele, the three creative directors, not only gave Gucci the highlights of their careers during their love affair, but also cherished each other after the breakup. Finally, in the revolving door of life, they all evolved into better people.
At last night’s Gucci Cosmos exhibition, Gucci shared with visitors sweet moments with each of the lovers, as well as many more unseen treasures from the Gucci Archive. At the first of the eight spaces, the “Transportation Station,” a Disney-printed suitcase from the Epilogue collection designed by Alessandro Michele in 2020 is displayed alongside other Gucci suitcases spanning the centuries on three moving rings of conveyor belts.
At the second stop, “The Galloping Ground,” a room that tells the story of Gucci’s equestrian connection, the collection includes a Tom Ford-designed riding crop and an Alessandro Michele-designed black leather corset with a horsebit, while the third stop, “The Garden of Eden,” features a collection of Gucci’s “The Garden of Eden,” a room that tells the story of Gucci’s equestrian connection. In the third station, called “The Garden of Eden”, an embroidered wool-lined denim jacket with the motto “L’Aveugle Par Amour” by Alessandro Michele can be seen, along with a gorgeous 1969 silk mini-skirt with a Flora floral print. The fourth stop, “Puppets”, is a cyclical projection of the three Creative Directors’ masterpieces: the red velvet suit, the waisted check suit and the unisex suit, symbolizing Gucci’s pioneering concept of unisex fashion and its impact on social knowledge and behavior. and its influence on social knowledge and behavior.
In the “Collection Gallery”, the Diana and Blondie handbags interpreted by Alessandro Michele are traced back to their earliest prototypes in the early 90’s and 70’s. To see Gucci’s imagination in action, see the sixth stop, the “House of Curiosities”. “For a glimpse of Gucci’s imagination, see the sixth stop, the House of Curiosities, where you will find a deer-shaped silver wine glass from the early 70’s, an electric guitar from Tom Ford’s time, and a black ostrich feather fan designed by Alessandro Michele; and the seventh stop, the Inspiration Gallery, where the curators have chosen three of their most iconic haute couture pieces. At the seventh stop, the “Inspiration Gallery”, the curators have chosen to juxtapose three of their most iconic ready-to-wear pieces with the Archive of fashion from the 70’s onwards, not chronologically, but by breaking down all the space of time and reorganizing the colors and inspirations of the designs.
So what kind of evolution will Darwin discover in the ever-changing world of fashion?

The truth is: survival of the fittest. World wars, family breakups, poor management, outdated designs, changing customer tastes …… or even not doing anything wrong, just the wrong timing, can all bring a brand to its end. Gucci has been around for 102 years, and the only other brands that have survived longer with it are Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Chanel and Balenciaga.

One thing they have all done is to use their brand spirit and identity to create era-defining classic designs, which in turn have become an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the brand’s archives, and ultimately have been reinterpreted in different eras.
If you dare to be labeled a classic design, it must be something that has been around for a long time, but still holds up to scrutiny when seen today.

In the Gucci Cosmos exhibition, one can admire one of the first iconic suitcases designed by the founder of the House, Mr. Gucci, in the late 1920s, or the Horsebit and the green, red and green striped webbing inspired by the horse’s belly band designed by the founder’s son, Mr. Aldo Gucci, in 1953, or the Italian artist and illustrator Vittorio Gucci. Or the silk scarf created by Italian artist and illustrator Vittorio Accornero de Testa for Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco in 1966, as well as the rare 1960s Bamboo bag in linen with colorful vertical stripes, the early Jackie bag with its push-in closure and striped webbing, and so on and so forth. Nowadays, with the changes in communication due to social media, the challenge is for all brands to evolve whether they are designing to leave a legacy or to gain the quickest possible exposure.

This is where Gucci’s pride lies, and in the Gucci Cosmos “Gucci Around the World” experience, the story of Gucci’s beginnings and history will continue to be validated by the imagination of the future. As Maria Luisa Frisa, Italian fashion theorist and critic, curator of the Gucci Cosmos “Gucci Around the World” Collections exhibition, says, “Once again, I have traveled through Gucci’s universe to tell its story through the content of the clothes, the objects, the elements, and the people that have been changing for more than a century.”
So how do you evolve into a better fashion house? By relying on a single item or a style or a design that is old enough to eat until the end of time? Unlikely. Possible: it needs to grow with different designers at different stages, and in the end its brand history is extended. It’s like meeting a caring and understanding lover, not because you two were born for each other, but most likely the other person has suffered and been tempered in past relationships.
The Gucci Cosmos “Universe Gucci” collection exhibition celebrates the fruitful achievements shared with all past creative directors. “Ciao.” said Alessandro Michele. He adorns a lover he has loved and is ready to hand it over to the next. “Ciao.” says Sabato de Sarno.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top