Gucci has unveiled a new exhibit at Pitti Uomo 95 in the Gucci Garden which is housed in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria. The new exhibit is open in the Period Rooms and includes a series of wall paintings in the Gucci Garden Galleria.
Gucci Garden was conceived by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and features exhibition spaces curated by critic and curator Maria Luisa Frisa. The Period Rooms in the Gucci Garden Galleria, which opened in June earlier this year with a tribute to Björk and the House’s collaboration with her, currently host the new exhibition titled Il Maschile – Androgynous Mind, Electic Body.
Frisa curated this exhibit to demonstrate how Gucci has interpreted and defined men’s fashion over the years. It takes a deep dive into the subject making use of the Gucci archives, as well as presenting a close study of a red silk shirt with a bow tied at the neck that Michele included in his first men’s show for fall/winter 2015. The shirt was a poetic gesture that in its vivid simplicity spoke of clothing the contemporary body and demonstrated that men’s fashion is a field with great unexplored potential. It also marked the beginning of Gucci’s overt engagement with the idea that today gender is a fluid idea.
The reflections on masculinity in this exhibition trace the outline of the body. Gucci has been playing with the concept of masculinity since the 1960s and its various creative directors from Tom Ford to Michele. The exhibition meditates on masculinity and maps a landscape of both formal and erotic through clothing, objects, accessories, images, books, magazines, and video documents.
MP 5 Gucci Exhibit
The selection of publications on sale in the ground floor boutique of Gucci Garden always strong supports the items on display in the Period Rooms. This will be the case from January, when work by writers on fashion studies and high-profile fashion journalists will look at the idea of masculinity; their commentaries will be combined with an array of glossy magazines and fanzines exploring the concept of the male body and male eroticism.
The wall paintings that were unveiled have been commissioned for the Gucci Garden transitional spaces, namely the stairwells and stair-and-elevator landings. These are by Italian artist MP5, who is known for an incisive black-and-white style and work that is both critically and politically engaged in looking at concepts of reality, and English artist Alex Merry, who depicts a dreamlike universe through illustrations and portraits that use color in savvy and surprising ways.
MP5 has contributed two wall paintings for the first and second floor landings of the Gucci Garden Galleria. Merry created a series of arched windows for the stairwells, which metaphorically open onto Piazza della Signoria and depict metaphysical landscapes where extraordinary alchemical transformations occur.
“Gucci Garden was conceived by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and features exhibition spaces curated by critic and curator Maria Luisa Frisa.”
In the Cinema da Camera visitors can view Crollo nervosa video in its entirety. This major work by theater company Magazzini Criminaldi debuted in Florence in 1980. It consists of four scenes set in vastly different times and places that intersect to form what critics of the day deemed a “postmodern web.” This work expanded the field of experimental cinema when first presented, and it serves as a key addition to the video documentation on the theme of “image/movement’ currently housed in the Gucci Garden Galleria.
The look of the Gucci Garden boutique has been updated to include areas featured soft-toned patterns, and micro-patterns inspired by print fabrics used in Michele’s collections for Gucci. The idea is for the spaces and the furniture to “change skin”, much like a snake does, and they will now be covered with delicate florals, which will also feature on display elements.
The boutique also includes exclusive merchandise from Gucci including the Ace and Rython sneakers, which come in pink with the black eye and star motifs printed on them. The Flashtrek trainers in brocade fabric, with rubber Gucci appliqué detail and detachable crystal-decorated elastic band are on sale here in special fabrics, as is a whole selection of the backless slip-on Princetown style, which has become one of Gucci’s signature pieces. There’s also an exclusive style of the Jordaan loafer is done featuring the garden floral print and comes in a host of exclusive fabrics and prints, including versions with a tiger and wolf design for men and a cat and flower design for women in needlepoint appliqué on the upper.
Alex Merry Gucci Exhibit
Alex Merry Gucci Exhibit
Alex Merry Making of Gucci Exhibit
There’s also exclusive ready-to-wear pieces created exclusively for Gucci Garden and ranges from highly-patterned women’s cabans, brocade mini-dresses, long, patterned silk dresses and a duchesse kimono, to a whole variety of skirts, trousers, and knits for women. For men’s ready-to-wear there are exclusive pieces like a blue wool felt coat with velvet collar, and two bombers enriched by floral embroidery. A selection of plaid shorts, trousers, and shirts introduce a vintage spirit, while knitwear is bold and impactful.
The brand’s notorious Dionysus handbag have also been developed and there are two new styles: one with eye and star designs in three colors — white, pink and black — and another with a laurel crown motif and a pattern composed of bees in pink, red and blue. There’s also a selection of backpacks.
The boutique will also present a selection of clothing and other images by MP5: a collection of T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts for men and women, and shopper bags, all displaying black-and-white prints that have been inspired by ancient Chinese the text the I Ching. This new collection follows the existing artist product collaborations at Gucci Garden — the first by Jayde Fish, which resulted in pieces displaying her mystical dreamscapes, and the second by London-based Isbaella Cotier, who created colorful faux-naïve illustrations of the eccentric local characters of Florence.