Thursday, December 18, 2008

The girl behind Gucci

It's Friday afternoon and I'm not so in the mood for some intense thinking. Internet surfing aimlessly is not really my thing; so here I am, yet for another rant on how fashion is not as a shallow subject as most would think (especially for the guys, we don't break your wallet for nothing). I will write another post for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of fashion :).

I am more interested in sharing with all of you out there, my all time favourite Gucci girl, predecessor of Tom Ford; who else if not Frida Giannini! Here's a quick background on who she is and how she came about as a revolutionary designer;

"Born in Rome to creative, intellectual parents — her father is an architect, her mother teaches history of art — Giannini has fashion embedded in her DNA. Her grandmother owned a boutique and she spent many afternoons after school styling the mannequins. She was encouraged to express her creativity early on by painting flowers all over her bedroom walls, which were whitewashed regularly so that she could reinvent her designs." - Times Online

"Giannini landed a job at Fendi in 1997, designing ready-to-wear before switching to leather goods. In 2002 she jumped to Gucci, where she oversaw handbags. In 2004 she was appointed creative director of accessories, which make up more than 80% of the company's sales."

"Giannini, who replaced Alessandra Facchinetti as creative director of women's wear at the $2 billion luxury house last spring, is known for her talent as an accessories designer. Now she will have to prove herself in apparel."
- Spectrum Women

Being relentlessly inventive is one thing, but staying true to own's principals is another. While Gucci's previous collections are more sexually motivated - refer to most of its print ads, you'll get what I mean - Giannini keeps sexiness in her designs very subtle to its minimum. She is more attentive towards reality and wearability of her designs which had won appeals more against its Gucci Group counterparts like YSL, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney. What is more lovely about her is that, she deems to accentuate Gucci wearer's personality rather than materialistic possessions. According to Giannini, "Without a strong personality, you can have the most beautiful clothes in the world and you will never look right.".

Even so, her fresh and humorous designs with slight androgyny is not much approved by the veterans(or should I say traditionalist?) and mainstream designers. Her Spring/Summer 2009 collections are criticized as unethical against fashion exclusivity for its "resemblance" with retailers like Zara.

Her new rebranded Gucci is described for "the woman who enjoys life, successful in her job and leaves a lasting impression every time she walks into a room" as opposed to Gucci's previous image which she refers as "the footballer’s wife" kind.

"What people don’t acknowledge is that ready-to-wear sales were slipping quite a lot even while Tom was still at Gucci, so you have to think, maybe you can look sexy just by baring your shoulders rather than exposing the whole lot. Maybe it’s not about the red carpet but about having a good time with your friends. Maybe the time for wearing shoes that make you feel destroyed after a few hours has passed. And while I’m not anti-celebrity, I’m not a Hollywood girl — and maybe it’s not the moment for just being a celebrity brand." - was what she said in her interview with Times Online. I could not agree more.

Frida Giannini's magical touch is the epitome of looking fabulous with practicality. She also gave a word or two on how guys should improve their style. Taken from magazine:

"The first thing I notice about a man are his shoes. Then I look at his watch.

The most iconic figures -- Jean-Paul Belmondo, Steve McQueen, James Dean -- were all rebels. Without a strong personality, you can have the most beautiful clothes in the world and you will never look right.

Sexiness is a very subjective thing. A man can be just as sexy in a buttoned-up suit as he can in jeans and a T-shirt.

I would love American men to embrace a narrower silhouette in suits and coats. It's way more sexy for a man to wear closer-fitting clothes."

(OK you guys should so take note of this. You better be.)

Definitely one of a gem, inspiring Giannini empowers women through projecting the right image by mere construction and arrangement of shapes, colours - and probably popular sentiments like old school prints and cuts. Boyish yet feminine, extroverted yet reserved, fun yet professional - the kind of traits of modern women in this fast-paced challenging world, just like the rest of us.

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