For the Cruise 2015 season, Creative Director Frida Giannini has collaborated with artist Kris Knight on a reworking of the most iconic Gucci print. Flora takes on new meaning in Kris Knight’s subversive reading of the floral bouquet – featuring nocturnal blossoms revolving around the moonflower. Symbolic blooms – each with a unique Roman story – reach their height at night, dawn or dusk.
Kris Knight said, “For my Flora reinterpretation, I wanted to create a painting that paid homage to Accornero’s delicate original by utilizing his symmetrical composition but to create a strong, feminine, magical and quietly dangerous Flora of my own. I referenced ancient pagan Rome, picking plants that women of this time used to command power”.
The provocative pattern features plants and flowers, specifically Belladonna and Datura, that women in ancient Rome used for seduction and desire. Both produced fruits that were used toxically to command power over men but blossomed with gorgeous flowers nonetheless. Blooms with healing powers, such as the Poppy, Henbane, and Mandrake, appear and allude to a darker, hallucinogenic context from the ancient Romans, Greeks and Celts. Meanwhile, plants symbolic for protection, namely Clover, Dandelion and Nightshade, reference their own mystical histories.
Frida Giannini has applied the new pattern to a variety of her designs for the season – from men’s and women’s ready-to-wear to accessories including silks, handbags, luggage, and leather goods. Giannini created chromatic contrasts that place the print against navy, black, and pastel bases. The design comes to life on both textiles, in the case of ready-to-wear, as well as canvas and leather for accessories.
At Gucci it was Frida Giannini who first rediscovered the Flora print in 2005 when she boldly applied the print to handbags. The original dates back to 1966, when Princess Grace visited Gucci’s Via Monte Napoleone store with her husband Prince Rainieri.