Flora, one of the most loved Gucci icons, was born as a special commission for Princess Grace of Monaco in 1966. The princess had paid a visit to the Gucci store in Milan with Prince Ranier. Having bought a green “bamboo bag” Rodolfo Gucci insisted she selected a gift. When she finally relented to his request she asked for a scarf. Rodolfo was distressed: he felt Gucci lacked one special enough for his distinguished guest. He immediately contacted the renowned illustrator Vittorio Accornero, to design the most beautiful floral scarf he could create. The next day Accornero returned with his painting: it was the “Flora”, a multicoloured flowered template that was destined for an unimaginably extended future.
Over the years, Flora kindled such long-lasting affection among European women that they passed it onto their daughters.
One was Princess Caroline of Monaco, who wore a blouse in her “mother’s” scarf-print as a teenager; another, the much younger Frida Giannini, whose own mother loved the print as a girl in Rome. Re-connecting with that desirable emotion, Giannini’s revived Flora on printed canvas bags for summer 2005 was met with overwhelming demand. Other Flora variations, re-scaled, re-coloured and abstracted, made it onto Forties/Seventies inspired print dresses for summer 2006, into jewellery and on evening bags. They were all hits: living proof of the power of a Gucci icon 40 years after it was first imagined.
December 3 and 4
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