Sydney's iconic Powerhouse Museum has been carpeted in blush pink for the welcome of Gucci's travelling immersive, multimedia experience – Gucci Garden Archetypes Sydney – to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Italian House's legendary founding.
On Tuesday night, November 15, Sydney's fashion set gathered at the Powerhouse to be some of the first to experience the exhibition in all its glory. It started with an industrial hallway, run down and graffitied with Gucci motifs, words of rebellion and famous sayings, before opening up into a room of screens, each hosting all of the campaigns that creative director and curator of the exhibition, Alessandro Michele, has realised during his tenure at the Italian House. Then, we were ushered into a room filled with foliage, a single, floral printed couch sat in the corner with a dress adorned with the same print, the rooms purpose? To reflect Gucci Bloom – the first women's fragrance Michele worked on for Gucci.
Down another hallway and to the left, is a pink tiled bathroom with wax figurines clad in Signature Gucci silhouettes, before the space opens up to a trippy, mirrored room with glass cabinets filled with plush toys. The middle cabinets are filled with endless Gucci Marmont Bags. In 2016, Michele's first big reveal was his reimagined double GG emblem, inspired by a belt the brand released in the 1970s. He debuted the emblem on a collection of new bags – the Gucci Marmont.
Another highlight is the subway scene, plucked straight out of LA, as featured in Michele's first ever Gucci show. Gucci Garden Archetypes examines the originality of an archetype, a theme that Michele has long been fascinated by, and continues to explore even in his most recent SS23 show, where he sent twin models exclusively down the runway.
"The multiplication of copies from the original, is opposed to the idea of fashion, because fashion is the multiplication of things which are all original." Michele tells RUSSH when asked about his fixation with the ongoing narrative of copies. "We should be against the multiplication of unique things in art. The contemporary world has somehow banned the idea of copies and of replicas saying that the original is the only thing that matters. But actually, we live in a world where there's a multiplication of things which are similar, or which are the same. And then, in the ancient world, the copy was really accepted. The copy had its own dignity, and they had a very different idea when talking about originals.
So in the world – not only in the Western world – in the world we know, wherever you go, there's a strange relationship between originals and copies and multiplications of the same thing. So this is a very interesting reflection in my opinion. Because fashion builds its identity, in particular with Prêt-à-Porter, on the proliferation of thousands of originals. And this is interesting to me because I really have a passion for objects, and I look at them in a very critical way. So I need to understand what the relationship is between and among objects, and if we are so attached to objects, if we consider some objects very special, then sometimes we discover that there are 1000s of similar objects. So I think it's a way of asking questions and it's a way of developing a reflection on this topic." He says.
After emerging from the exhibition, it was time for us to put on our dancing shoes. As champagne flowed and bodies shimmied, Anderson Paak took to the stage to ring the night in right. Guests, dressed head-to-toe in Gucci, included Isabella Manfredi, Georgia Fowler, Sarah Ellen, Budjerah, Victoria Lee, Manahou Mackay, and more. Swaying to the music, riding the escalator up and down the cavernous structure of the Powerhouse. It was a night to remember.
See more from the night, lensed by Kitty Callaghan, below.