gucci garden archetypes 100 anniversary


By Crash redaction

On the occasion of Gucci’s 100th anniversary, the immersive Gucci Garden Archetypes multimedia experience explores and celebrates the creative vision of the House in Florence.

An archetype is an original design, inherently impossible to recreate, from which all copies are made. All Gucci campaigns evoke a unique and exceptional moment that expresses the spirit of each collection, while reflecting Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s open, liberated and bold philosophy.

From Tokyo to Los Angeles, from Northern soul to May ’68, the exhibition features mythical arch builders, intergalactic explorers, horses, dancers, angels and aliens, all of whom emerge from this seething exploration of Alessandro Michele’s kaleidoscopic vision. Gucci Garden Archetypes delves into the wide-ranging sources of inspiration that resonate in Gucci campaigns, whether they be musical, artistic, travel or pop culture.

« I thought it would be interesting to accompany people through these first six years of adventure by inviting them to enter the imaginary, the narrative, the unexpected, the glitter. So I created a playground with these emotions found in the campaigns, because they are the most explicit journeys in my imagination, » says Alessandro Michele, curator of the exhibition.

Cutting-edge technology, intricate handcrafting and innovative interior architecture combine to create a sequence of distinct and immersive worlds, conceived by Archivio Personale, the design studio that translated Alessandro Michele’s vision into narrative spaces that reflect and reinforce the singularity of his aesthetic. Passing through what appears to be an operational center, behind the scenes, visitors first see a composite image of the exhibition they are about to experience. Inside, a network of themed spaces and corridors bring to life the world of 15 Gucci campaigns.

The Gucci Beauty campaign for « bold, bright and beautiful » lipsticks becomes a dazzling multi-screen spectacle, featuring the now-famous smile of punk singer Dani Miller, who has turned the cosmetics industry’s beauty standards on their head.

Viewers also enter Gucci Bloom’s fragrant floral paradise, an imaginary hidden garden that becomes a place of freedom for the campaign’s three stars – actress Dakota Johnson, feminist artist and photographer Petra Collins and trans actress and model Hari Nef. This unconventional charismatic trio collectively inaugurates Alessandro Michele’s new inclusive vision of modern femininity.

In another room, an immersive circular projection creates the sensation of being « on the runway » with the energetic dancers of the pre-fall 2017 campaign, whose all-black cast made history. By bringing her to the forefront, the campaign-described by Michele as « a tribute to the elegance of black culture »-responded to the need for better representation of the black community in the fashion industry.

The Pre-Fall 2018 campaign’s tribute to Parisian youth on the 50th anniversary of May 1968 is evoked in the graffiti on the staircase that connects the space’s two floors. For the spring-summer 2018 campaign, interdisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal created a giant mural by hand in nearly 900 hours of painstaking work that covers the walls and ceiling. Elsewhere, 150,000 shimmering sequins line the walls and reinvent the fall/winter 2016 campaign, a journey through Tokyo, and then a museum-worthy diorama showcases the creatures, aliens and explorers of the fall/winter 2017 campaign’s space journey.

The haunting collections from the fall/winter 2018 campaign fill an entire space from floor to ceiling. Visitors are surrounded by shelves stacked with thousands of coaster butterflies, cuckoo clocks, colorful wigs and sneakers. Visitors can also delve into the bathroom of a 1980s nightclub from the Spring/Summer 2016 campaign in Berlin, and behind the scenes of the sprawling modernist villa that served as the setting for the « Party of the Century » 2020 cruise campaign.

Visitors will even be able to step into a maze of mirrors to enter the period mansion at the heart of the 2016 cruise campaign, discover the breathtaking world of the epic ark-building community in the 2019 cruise campaign, and board a Los Angeles subway car like the one featured in Alessandro Michele’s first-ever Fall/Winter 2015 campaign.

The Gucci Garden Archetypes catalog will be an extension of this journey into Alessandro Michele’s imagination – a veritable inventory of the creativity on display, a collection of images and surprises, accompanied by previously unpublished texts by cultural figures such as art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, artist and researcher Anna Franceschini, curator Antwaun Sargent, and culture and sustainability expert Shaway Yeh.

In keeping with Gucci’s exploration of digital territories, a virtual tour will also be available online to explore the exhibition. In keeping with the dialogue that merges physical and virtual environments, Gucci has once again partnered with international online platform Roblox, introducing a captivating shared experience of the Gucci Garden into their metaverse. It will open on May 17, for two weeks only. As visitors explore this virtual gallery, which is loosely based on the Gucci campaigns on display, digital avatars transform into mannequins by absorbing elements of the exhibition and become unique digital artworks.

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