Back in the late seventies when Frida Giannini was still being fed from her high chair, I worked at the Gucci Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills it was my first exposure to the world of fashion. ¬†I remember it now as a life time and a half ago.¬† Wearing a linen lime sorbet 3 piece suit that I had bought on sale at a L.A. downtown outlet (even back then it wasn‚Äôt the most popular color) and a feathered Gene Shacove hair do, ¬†I had managed to get promoted from stock boy to men‚Äôs department sales attendant.
I remember seeing Charles Bronson coming in with his daughter and wife Jill Ireland to buy some ties for him and a few outfits for Jill.¬† I remember him coming upstairs to my department¬† wearing a blue one piece leisure suit and bending to his knees ¬†starting to make faces at the three way mirror with his daughter close to his chest.
I recall Sammy Davis Jr. coming in to pick up a couple of rolls of GG canvas to upholster a sofa.
Marisa Berenson, Rachel Welch, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Jack Benny, Dear Martin, Ali McGraw, Truman Capote, Betsy Bloomindale… everyone would be welcomed into the store by Carlo Celoni manager and stylist in residence with a ‚ÄúCiao Bella‚ÄĚ.
I remember the sort of clothes we had on display classic almost ¬†austere, with a¬†touch¬†of whimsical never overstated. The bags, the shoes, and ¬†particularly the silk prints, the famed Cornucopia print, the butterflies, the flowers and roses, the horse bits‚Ä¶Aldo Gucci arriving and pinching the behind of some of the younger sales ladies‚Ä¶You know it was a different time and space.
Some of us survived it by getting away from it all some did not.
I really thought that for all the glamour that it might have represented to us back then it was the sort of scene and look better left alone and never thought it would be revisited by the house of Gucci every decade.
I a way, it is understandable that just as Tom Ford had his day in the Sun with his take on the late seventies, ¬†Giannini would try her hand at it as well.¬† I did not dislike the collection and it is not by any means a literal interpretation of what was once the golden age of the house. ¬†However, it is no longer to me such a relevant theme as it once might have been.
I understand that Gucci tries to play on the emotions of a clientele that remember that era and has some connection to it; somehow, it came up a bit flat for me.¬† The colors a bit spent almost drowned within the context of a World that has seen so much more than aqua, pink coral, black and white since then‚Ä¶and the flower ¬†print‚Ä¶ well lovely but ¬†something I have seen a thousand times before.
But a Gucci show is always an event that breaks true the pragmatism of the times ¬†in which we live to remind us who we were and how we managed in spite of ourselves to get all the way here‚Ä¶at least for a few out there. ¬†Yes, Dick Avedon might have photographed Veruska in one of Frieda‚Äôs column dresses or short frilly silk frocks. ¬†But then that would have been a totally different thing all together‚Ä¶In spite of it all you could not help but¬† say ‚Äú Ciao Bella‚ÄĚ ¬†when that last white gown with a deep V scollatura came down the catwalk on Anja Rubik ¬†to¬†close the show. ¬†Elegant yes, Nostalgic absolutely, relevant?¬† Only for ¬†those who choose not to forget.
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