by Jerry ElengicalMay 27, 2021
When Alessandro Michele walked out of the wings as Creative Director of Gucci in 2015 after quietly working long behind the scenes, he yanked out of the closet all the crazy colours, androgynous cuts, psychedelic botanica and bright street styles that would redefine the brand after many decades that spring. Cut to this season – the wildfire still spreading strong across home design, with the same phantom power of the phenomenon that was Gucci Ghost.
Back at home – the new post-pandemic workplace, leisure arena, party spot, place of peace – Michele brings alive the Roman legacy in the Italian luxury brand, reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s free spirit and royal exuberance in the 1953 classic, Roman Holiday, albeit with a punk twist.
The Gucci Décor collection, titled ‘Souvenir from Rome’, is a memoir of what the city has gone through, historically as well as more recently. The brand celebrates its own history and pulls subtle links and threads to remember the year gone by, looking forward with positivity and optimism towards a hopeful future.
The line is an amalgamation of bright hues, eclectic designs and varied patterns designed by Michele. It derives inspiration from the opulent marble decoration of the rooms of the Musei Capitolini in Rome, where the Gucci Cruise 2020 show also took place.
During the year 2020, Italy, much like the rest of the world, went through many hardships and through this collection, Gucci attempts to not only represent the rich culture of Italian art but also celebrate the craft and artisanal skill that goes into the creation of its products...
Cloches, used to cover food on dinner tables, hold an important place on the communal table and lie at the heart of many homes. Introducing daily luxury to the ritual of dining, this collection by Gucci Décor developed a group of distinctive cloches made from silver-plated brass with an antique effect. Cloches reference back to meal times at the elite houses of the past, and in the context of contemporary life attempt to create an eccentric impact. Each of these domed plate covers display an engraving of a different word or phrase: for example, “Gucci Orgasmique” or “Maison de l’Amour” references back to their famous collections or aesthetics.
The floral pattern finds a key spot in the new designs, in order to bring joy, freshness and colour in tough times as these. Inspired from a painting of colourful flowers by artist Vittorio Accornero that was created for a Gucci silk scarf presented to Princess Grace of Monaco in 1966, these new patterns feature in porcelain pieces such as candle holders and flower-shaped boxes, often accompanied by an elegant white butterfly. A black Gucci logo appears in Gothic script on the pastel pink and pale blue backgrounds of these holders along with the Roman numeral XXV – 25 – Michele’s lucky number.
The collection contains another important highlight: the re-introduction of the star and eye print. The black-and-white version has been reimagined and enriched by incorporating a bright, multicolour rainbow surrounded by colourful stars for a porcelain star-shaped ashtray and three different porcelain mug designs with black snake handles.
As the times remind us of the comfort we get from the cushions and linen in our homes, the collection extends to blankets, cushions and moiré backs where the material tartan has been used extensively. The tartan cushions have been decorated with hand-applied animal patches, fierce and forceful.
One of the other interesting designs features a fawn, an image created by the artist Nathalie Lètè, signifying the young life and new hope that awaits us ahead.
Walls gone wild
Staying in need not mean having to stare at the same walls all the time. Stressing upon the idea of refurbishing, the wallpapers in the collection are inspired by the motifs used in Gucci’s ready-to-wear collections. Iconic patterns have been used to create wallpaper designs: a multicolour isometric GG print, a pattern comprising an 18th century pastoral landscape, a re-colouration of a floral wallpaper pattern with lion heads, a design featuring Texas thistles on a white base, and a combination of brightly coloured birds and flowers on a blue background with golden stars.
As the ideas of privacy and finding space for one’s self become more relevant, the collection features three new hinged folding screens. These have been characterised by a design featuring the artwork ‘Hua Fish’ by the artist Una Woodruff, G squared cloud pattern, rising star patterns and the reimagined star and eye prints.
Overall, the refreshing styles are defined by the liberal use of signature motifs and patterns, colourful and unusual combinations of imagery and patterns, and a “come back home” message that pervades through all the pieces. These appear to all belong together in diversity and adversity, while transcending into a realm that inspires sensitivity, the importance of fully immersing ourselves in the moment, and memoirs from our recent times spent at home.