During the night of the 26th of september a lot of fashionistas and paparazzi were in Piazza Signoria in Florence to attend the red carpet for the Gucci Museum opening.
There were so many international guests and fashion editors like Anna Wintour, Franca Sozzani, Suzy Menkes, the princess Charlotte Casiraghi, Stefano Tonchi and the rock band Blondie.
The Palazzo della Mercazia, venue of the Gucci Museum, was lit with video-installations reproducing the main iconic pieces of the brand like Guccissima leather and diamond pattern.
The impression you have entering this historical palace is very particular, despite the ancient facade every single detail is in perfect modern and minimal Gucci style, you are definitely entering the Gucci world. The staff is pleased to help you in every kind of request and even during the visit you can ask them whatever explanation you want. Forget every kind of museum experience you’ve ever had before, here the visitor is the protagonist. At the ticket desk they explain how the museum is structured, and they give you a folder to collect the explanation cards that are placed all over the three floors of the museum. This will be a sort of little museum guide, a nice souvenir of the Gucci Museum experience.
The visit begins in the room dedicated to Travelling and in the first window there’s the famous Aldo Gucci’s motto Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten that was used in the windows shop. All around the personalized (and kitschy) Aldo Gucci’s Cadillac there are the windows full of ancient beauty cases, boxes, luggages and trunks made by Gucci from the 1921, when Guccio Gucci founded the firm, to the 90’s. Along the walls of the stairway there are old black and white pictures of the florentine artisan laboratories in Lungarno Guicciardini and Via delle caldaie, the big store in Rome in Via dei condotti and even shopping moments of the most important jet set stars like Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren.
|Photos – Christie’s FB page|On the first floor there are 2 rooms for celebrating the Gucci cultural mission. One room is dedicated to temporary art exhibition with pieces taken from the Pinault collection. In this period is exhibited the video installation by Bill Viola realized in 2005 for the Tristan and Isolde project. The other room is dedicated to the restoration of masterpieces such as Il Gattopardo, La Dolce Vita, Senso and Le amiche, made possible thanks to the no-profit Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and Gucci founds. Near the art room there’s the Precious Space: a little room dedicated to jewelry and precious items from the silver 20’s powder compact, to the 40’s minoudière, from the lion heads of the 70’s, to the horsebit inspired bracelets and the Tom Ford’s enameled snake pochette.
In the following room you enter the Flora print world. Everything is dedicated to this special floral print designed by Vittorio Accornero for the Princess Grace Kelly in 1966. In the room you can see the original sketches and all their application on bags, accessories, clothes, the black and white dress used in the Flora perfume adv campaign and even on the Richard-Ginori fine porcelain sets. Nowadays the Flora foulard is still sold in Gucci shops, but it is realized with only 18 colours, instead of the original version of 36. Frida Giannini decided to re-edit the original foulard in 36 colors exclusively for the Gucci museum shop, printing the sketch by Accornero with even the pencil notes on the edge of the sheet with the names of the colors.
|Photo – Christie’s FB page|
The Handbags room explores the Gucci bags’ universe from the iconic Bamboo bag, to the Jakie O’, passing by all those models of the 50’s made with poor materials like rafia, but embellished with the Rinascimento and Leonardo prints. The exhibition include also the saddle inspired bags and the 70’s colorful suede bags with the horsebit buckles and the green-red-green web. The Evening room celebrates the last line by Frida Giannini designed for the red carpet events, beautiful evening dresses worn by famous actress during the Oscar ceremony. In my opinion the most beautiful is the Hilary Swank’s one, a strapless silver silk corsage with light drops of crystals and paillettes and feathers applications on the trawl.
The second floor is a sort of Gucci logo chronicle: from the beginning with the golden buckles double GG standing for Guccio Gucci, to the 50’s when they were mixed with the Diamond pattern creating the Gucci canvas; from the total looks of the 70’s, to the newest Guccissima leather. The Lifestyle section is a collection of the memorabilia and gifts signed Gucci: everyday objects as lamps, pic-nic set, lights, silver glasses, walking stick, armchairs, tables, snuff boxes, and finally electro guitar and guitar picks holder from the 2001 collection. The last room is dedicated to Sports. There are not only equestrian sports equipment, but also object, suitcase and accessories concerning the world of golf and tennis, a Gucci bicycle, fins and mask for diving and two special surfboards from the Tom Ford era.
The visit ends in the social spaces at the ground floor, always opened to the public and not only to the museum’s visitors. In the boutique you can find the re-edition of iconic items created exclusively for this shop such as the Gucci loafers, the Flora scarf and other leather goods. In the
bookshop there’s a big choice of gadgets with the Gucci Museum logo and a particular selection of international books curated by the Rizzoli group, concerning art, fashion and architecture. You can even relax in the Gucci caffè browsing with free wifi connection, eating something or drinking one of the best Tuscan wine with a wonderful view on Piazza della Signoria. In these special social rooms you can admire the ancient coats of arms of the Guilds of Florence (wool merchants, bankers, silk weavers, shoemakers, furriers, etc.) that originally were on the facade of the palace. Now there’s also the Gucci coat of arms with a knight in the center holding a suitcase and a hatbox, next to a rose symbol of poetry and a wheel symbol of the art of leading.
open every day
museum – 10.00 – 20.00
shop – 10.00 – 20.00
caffè and bookshop – 10.00 – 23.00
The ticket price is 6 €, of which 3€ will be donated to a fund dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the treasures of Florence. Unfortunately taking pictures is forbidden.