Launched in Shanghai in April, Gucci Cosmos, the itinerant exhibition that retraces Gucci’s 102-year history, has made its way to London, transforming 180 Studios into an immersive journey through the brand’s archive
Words DOMENICO COSTANTINI
Gucci Cosmos, a fascinating traveling exhibition, is opening in London today, Oct. 11, 2023. The exhibition metamorphoses 180 Studios at 180 The Strand into an immersive experience, exploring Gucci’s extensive archive with breathtaking scenography crafted by Es Devlin and curated by Maria Luisa Frisa, a renowned fashion critic. The exhibition commences with a tribute to the iconic red elevator of the Hotel Savoy, a place deeply rooted in Gucci’s heritage. Visitors are guided through a series of thematic rooms, each offering a unique perspective that encompasses the house’s history and extends into the future.
“Portal” harkens back to Gucci’s origins as a luggage manufacturer, featuring a rotating conveyor belt showcasing vintage suitcases, trunks, and hatboxes, both from the archive and recent production.
“Zoetrope” celebrates Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 invention of moving images, with images of galloping horses emerging as visions on garments inspired by various equestrian eras of Gucci.
In the “Two” section, two majestic white resin figures, inspired by Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel “Gulliver’s Travels,” are projected alongside historical men’s and women’s clothing from Gucci.
“Archivio” and “Cabinet of Wonders” serve as the exhibition’s highlights, recreating the ambiance of Gucci’s archive with shelves and showcases hosting precious objects.
The “Eden” section floats in a circular space filled with light and mirrors, deepening Gucci’s ongoing relationship with the diversity and beauty of the biosphere
Finally, “Carousel” offers a captivating journey through the various creative directors of the house, from Tom Ford to Alessandro Michele, Frida Giannini, and the current creative director, Sabato de Sarno.
The exhibition’s last section unveils the future of the house under De Sarno’s guidance, immersed in the red color that will characterize his tenure. The room, named “Gucci Ancora,” provides a glimpse into the future through a visual collage of De Sarno’s inspirations.
Gucci Cosmos runs at 180 Studios, 180 The Strand, London from 11 October to 31 December 2023.