After 102 years of iconic moments and products that have marked the history of fashion, Gucci opens the doors of its archive, giving birth to Gucci Cosmos, an extraordinary and immersive journey that explores the codes and spirit of the brand. The Maison has always been a true symbol for Italy, becoming its mirror of the times and the engine of progress and aesthetic evolution. The exhibition is presented as a love letter to the past, celebrating the constant remembrance of its Florentine roots, which, even today, after a century of adventures discovering faraway countries, are the brand’s spiritual and aesthetic home. The Gucci Cosmos universe is composed of eight worlds, where past, present and future coexist: a continuous exploration, a constant search back and forth in time where the visitor can fully devote himself to the beauty of the treasures presented. Each cosmos illustrates a different aspect of the Maison, from the nascent ambitions of founder Guccio Gucci to the fervent imaginative power of more recent Creative Directors, including Tom Ford, Frida Giannini and Alessandro Michele. As the name suggests, the project features forms reminiscent of space and the concept of time: luminous installations and innovative moving technologies tell the timelessness of the brand’s visionary aesthetic and how its power of attraction creates endless dialogues with today’s society.
“Gucci Cosmos is an immersive exhibition experience in which the narrative of origins and history is continually challenged by the imagination of the future.”
The journey begins with Portals: the first world leads into the past, telling the story of founder Guccio Gucci. Exceeded the revolving doors that recall his first experience as a bellboy at the Savoy Hotel in London, three moving circular carousels hold samples of the finest luggage items, the beginning of the Maison’s great history. The path opens with one of the first suitcases designed by Guccio in the 1920s, then moves forward in time to the Epilogue collection designed by Alessandro Michele. Portals summarizes the interchange of design expertise, ideas and inspiration among the successive creative directors, highlighting how each of them drew from the brand’s soul to rework it and reveal its essential modernity. Zoetrope, the second cosmos, recounts the strong connection between Gucci and the equestrian world: visitors come into direct contact with the space through evocative videos accompanied by a soundscape of galloping horses. The horsebit and the famous green-red-green ribbon are the most iconic archival pieces inspired by horseback riding, defining the classic moccasin and the Horsebit 1955 bag. More recent designers, on the other hand, subvert the traditional practices of horseback sport, suggesting more sensual possibilities, such as a whip designed by Tom Ford or a black leather corset with horsebit by Alessandro Michele. The third world, Eden, retraces the story of Flora, showing the strong connection to the richness and beauty of the biosphere, an eternal inspiration for Gucci’s designers. A pair of monumental white statues welcomes visitors who have arrived at the fourth cosmos: Two is symbolic of the brand’s avant-garde vision, which has long offered unisex clothes capable of evolving ideas and customs.
“The Maison and its history over the last century can be reconstructed by looking at their ability to evolve, to expand following the evolution of our own consciousness.”
The fifth world is called the Archive and, as the name implies, explores the origins of the Maison’s most iconic bags. The mirrored ceiling gives the visitor the impression of entering an endless space, where the walls are lined with a myriad of wardrobes and drawers containing timeless modern classics: the 1947 Bamboo, the 1961 Jackie, the 1955 Horsebit, the Gucci Diana, and the Dionysus. Cabinet of Wonders features a dark red lacquered monolithic cube filled with drawers and compartments that slide mechanically, revealing eccentric and extraordinary pieces. The audience discovers the 2000s of Tom Ford with his iconic black leather bodice; the elegance of Alessandro Michele and his long pearl dress; the punk side of the brand through a handbag covered in spiky studs; and a wide range of off-the-wall accessories, including silver deer glasses. Cabinet of Wonders testifies to the Maison’s infinite talent for transforming the unexpected into objects of great beauty, boldly following inspiration wherever it leads. The penultimate leg of the journey, Carousel, is a dance through time that explores looks not by chronology, but by color and inspiration: it creates a creative conversation that the brand continues to have with its heritage and modernity. The last world presented is certainly not the least important. It is called Duomo, to remember its home, the city of Florence, and celebrate it in all its forms. It is a tribute to the Florentine capital where a long suspended viewing platform accompanies the audience to the finish line of the long journey, showing designs and motifs from the past and present, with a constant eye turned toward the future. Gucci Cosmos is the experiential embodiment of Gucci’s soul, exalting its history, its sources of inspiration and its exceptional talent. A journey that allows the audience to develop a strong connection with the Maison, thoroughly understanding the creative process that led to the creation of extraordinary imagery.
Gucci Cosmos opens April 28 at the West Bund Center in Shanghai, China, and will remain open until June 25. The exhibition will later be shown in other locations around the world.
For further information gucci.com.