Unleashing the Gucci Cosmos: Discovering the legendary fashion house's legacy at Shanghai exhibition
Whether you are a follower of fashion or someone who simply enjoys exploring the history of brands, you should not miss the Gucci Cosmos exhibition. Now open at West Bund Art Center, the show traces the constellation of ideas, inventions, artefacts, clothes and accessories that articulate the 102-year history of one of the most influential brands in fashion.
The exhibition was conceptualized and designed by renowned British contemporary artist Es Devlin, and curated by Italian fashion critic Maria Luisa Frisa.
This exhibition is noteworthy because it showcases a significant number of Gucci's previously unseen works. The items on display come from the Gucci Archive, which was formerly housed in the 15th-century Palazzo Settimanni in Florence and today serves as both the brand's archive and the central hub for its creative team. The collection includes luggage designed by Guccio Gucci, the founder of Gucci, in the late 1920s, which laid the foundation for the brand's iconic luggage designs. It also features the GG canvas handbags created by Aldo Gucci and Rodolfo Gucci in tribute to their father.
The exhibition is divided into eight "worlds," while "Portals" is the entrance into the universe of Gucci. Like many luxury brands, the house of Gucci was initially built on luggage. Guccio Gucci's experience as a porter at The Savoy hotel in London inspired his ideas for luggage design and the establishment of his brand. The exhibit entrance features a series of revolving doors as a tribute to The Savoy.
Throughout the fashion house's century-long history, luggage has been at the heart of Gucci's values, both culturally and financially. The exhibition displays hand-held luggage that reflects the lifestyle of the upper class at the turn of the 20th century. The popularity of rolling luggage reflects the changes in travel modes from ships and trains to air travel, while hard luggage with electronic screens and lighting devices give a modern interpretation of history.
The eight multimedia perspective landscapes entitled "Gucci Timescape" surround the "Portals." They exhibit cultural idols that inspired Gucci in the past and present, such as Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and brand spokespersons Xiao Zhan, Li Yuchun, Ni Ni and Lu Han.
The "Cabinet of Wonders" is a large mechanical device symbolizing the fusion of various elements of the brand and fully depicting Gucci's design lineage. Visitors can see the black leather corset designed by Tom Ford in 2001, the golden evening dress created by Frida Giannini in 2006, and a lace, pearl, and bead embroidered dress designed by Alessandro Michele.
The exhibition's final exhibit hall is the "Duomo," which replicates the dome of the Florence Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore. The two domes are inverted and connected by a suspended viewing platform, reflecting the symbol "♾️️" of cycles and infinity, portraying Gucci's past, present, and future, and connecting them all.
Date: April 28-June 25
Venue: West Bund Art Center
Address: 2555 Longteng Rd