The Gucci Museum in Florence, Italy.
Last week, I was in Florence, the first step of a long-overdue holiday (eight years in the making), but I decided to visit the Gucci Museum. When in Rome, as they say. Well, near to Rome, at least.
The museum was opened in 2011, but it spans all the way back to Gucci's 1921 beginnings. There are some fabulous things within its walls, such as a pimped-out Gucci Chrysler with monogrammed seats, and lots of Lurex and leather and suede Seventies stuff, which looks like the clothes worn by the occupants of said Chrysler. They may have had a few of the horsebit-shaped ashtrays, or the monogrammed lamps with Gucci riding boots as bases. I love that Gucci included that stuff: it's hilarious, and tacky, and basically everything it has fought against for ages. Back in the Nineties, one of Tom Ford's first steps as creative director was to discontinue many of those dodgier lines.
Tom Ford. Remember him? Gucci doesn't seem to: nothing in the museum is from the Ford years, the period that propelled Gucci from bankruptcy to a billion-euro luxury conglomerate (the Gucci Group, which ended up being absorbed into the consortium now known as Kering).
It's interesting how a label can edit its own past. That's what Ford did, after all, focusing on the slinky, sexy Seventies to carve a niche for Gucci in the Nineties as a post-Aids reclamation of that period's kinky jet-set heyday. But, riddle me this: was there anything actually that Gucci about what Ford did? It was a lot of Halston, a bit of Beene, mostly easy American sportswear pieces luxed out and sexed up, with perhaps a double-G belt cinching the hips.