Carla Valderrama, behind Instagram account @thiswashollywood
unpacks the ‘glorious feeling’ between Hollywood’s masterpiece ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and Gucci’s Spring Summer 2019 campaign, Gucci Showtime.
The power of cinema comes from its ability to transport us out of our daily lives and into worlds of unending variety and wonder. Perhaps no genre of film has embraced this art more than the Technicolor musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age. And of those films, one stands head and shoulders above the rest as the ultimate symbol of Hollywood escapism: the timeless masterpiece Singin’ in the Rain (1952).
An otherworldly experience brimming with world-class stars, music, acting, singing, dancing, sets, and costumes, the movie showcases the very best of film craft. But perhaps its true genius lies in its story, which chronicles the arrival of sound in the film industry and serves as both a hilarious satire of Hollywood and a tribute to the magic of movies themselves.
Much like the early sound films on which its plot turns, this classic of the silver screen was forged from an unlikely combination of chaos, raw talent, and pure determination. It began when a producer with a backlog of music handed his screenwriters a huge stack of songs with a command to, “Go write a movie!” The film’s female lead had no dance experience before the movie and later said, “The two hardest things I ever did in my life are childbirth and Singin’ in the Rain.” Even the film’s star (who also served as co-director and co-choreographer) faced his own struggles during production: fighting through a fever of 103 during the filming of the title dance number. The result, of course, is one of the most iconic scenes in the history of film.
The movie’s costumes also stand as a triumph of Hollywood style, featuring 500 eye-catching looks that had to be historically accurate to the 1920s setting, but also durable enough to withstand demanding choreography (and, of course, massive amounts of rain). The creations are unforgettable icons of Old Hollywood glamour, like the flapper-style emerald green dress from the “Broadway Melody” number, which was altered to be more provocative after the censors had given their approval.
With its thrilling dance numbers, beautiful music, and iconic style, Singin’ in the Rain endures as one of the greatest fantasies ever committed to celluloid, all while poking fun at Hollywood’s outrageous efforts to obscure the gap between fantasy and reality. But, above all, Singin’ in the Rain endures because it’s a whole lot of fun. As the song says, “What a glorious feeling/I’m happy again.”
It is this same “glorious feeling” that Gucci evokes in its Spring Summer 2019 Campaign, which pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals by capturing the classic designs of the period and the joy of the films. Bursting with Technicolor glitz and glamour— from sparkling long beaded dresses with glittering fringes to oversized diamanté necklaces— as well as classic tailoring and even ruby red square-toe shoes, Gucci’s collection references the dazzling dances, uplifting songs, and magic of the musical extravaganzas of yesteryear. It’s showtime!