Author: Rachel Weaver

Writer, Marketer, Student.

Gucci Museo

The Gucci Museo was very interesting to see. I always knew that Guccio Gucci and the creative directors that followed him were very talented designers and the brand has become iconic, but I did not know the extent of the product lines throughout the history of the brand. These included uggage, car interiors, handbags, other accessories, and lifestyle merchandise for the home and everyday life. Gucci clearly had a good sense of “lifestyle branding” even before it was a popular goal for designers. He made it possible for the Gucci products to be a part of each moment in a person’s life and communicate luxury whether in the car, in the kitchen, or in the closet.

It is clear from looking through this exhibit that quality was and is a key element for the Gucci label, and the quality was and is a key element for the Gucci label, and the quality remained consistent across the various product lines. When a consumer sees the GG logo, it evokes a sense of class and brand history that Guccio Gucci wanted to communicate. I liked seeing the “Logomania” room because of this. One of the written introductions even said that the logo is now a “symbol of heritage in modernity.” The logo placed so obviously on many of these pieces is a way for the consumer to communicate his or her status. This would attract many to purchase items from the Gucci label, in addition to the fact that high quality is assumed with anything containing GG.

My absolute favorite portion of the museum was the evening wear section. It is one thing to see a beautiful gown on the red carpet, but it is another thing entirely to see them up close in real life. The level of skill required to create these gowns is highly evident when looking at the detailed beading and stitching. It is pieces like this that, in my opinion, classify fashion as an art form.

 

–Rachel Weaver

Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland…where to begin? She truly was one of a kind. In life, her overt personality could be perceived in a negative way, but in fashion, her novel point of view was a breath of fresh air. She revolutionized the world of fashion print by taking Harper’s Bazaar and VOGUE from women’s magazines to new outlooks on fashion and its role in our lives. In the film, there was one point when she said her goal was to give people what they weren’t getting at home. She was referring to fantasy. She added an element of fantasy to the magazines, and fantasy sells. Her utilization of this concept created new desire for the magazines, and her instinctive ability to choose content for the magazines’ spreads was unparalleled.

My favorite aspect of this woman is her strong appreciation of all things unique. She celebrated oddity when others wrote it off as “ugly.” But Diana, being a bit odd-looking herself, capitalized on those very elements which one might see as unattractive. It takes an incredible person to go against the grain the way she did. Her story is inspiring for all who have ever felt insecure because of something “ugly” about themselves.

I also appreciate her ability to see beyond a person’s appearance, as if into their soul. She was attracted to those who had unseen traits, beneath the surface, that most people would not find by looking at a person. Her goal was to capture those qualities and share them with the world. For an industry that thrives on appearance, Diana recognized that the real interest was not appearance based, rather, it was a demeanor, posture, or underlying inner nature that makes people interesting and attractive.

-Rachel Weaver

Aldo Fallai and Giorgio Armani

This exhibit was simply beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photos and ads that Fallai and Armani collaborated to create. Two brilliant minds came together to make stunning images that changed to worlds of fashion and advertising and their interaction with one another. Although each image is unique, there are some trends existing in the exhibit as a whole. I found the expressions of the models to be natural and carefree, encouraging the viewer to not only accept a brand, but also emulate a lifestyle. The subjects being photographed had a way of staring through the viewer, as if trying to peer into something deeper than face value. This depth gives each photograph life and character. It makes the viewer relate to the model, who would otherwise seem like a shallow, soulless face only used to sell a product.

The brilliance behind Armani and Fallai is that they created a look and found a way to capture the look with personality and a sort of “down-to-earth” vibe. The photos evoke a positive emotion in the viewer, taking them somewhere they have always wanted to go. A place of casual joy and endless possibilities.

My favorite image was the one of the woman on the donkey kissing the man walking beside her. There is so much happening in this photo. The most obvious element it contains is romance. However, it also communicates adventure, passion, and freedom. It is as if the viewer saw a glimpse of this couple by accident, caught in a moment. The photo gives the viewer a quick insight into each individual as well as their relationship, which is based on spontaneity and experiencing new things. It also associates the clothing with the durability and high quality ideal for travel, while also exemplifying a chic vibe.

Overall, I enjoyed this exhibit very much. It was inspiring to see the potential power of an image if it is properly planned and executed.

Rachel Weaver

Archeological Museum

The archeological museum was fascinating for many reasons! I enjoyed seeing such well-preserved pieces of history that help us better understand the culture in which they existed. Whether pots, weapons, or jewelry, each artifact contributes greatly to our knowledge about the people that were involved in its construction and use. One of the main things I saw from visiting this museum is that even ancient cultures had a similar idea of beauty as ours today. They had an appreciation for clothing, precious stones, rings, and piercings that were aesthetically pleasing and flattering.

The people of ancient times, as seen at the museum, also had similar purposes for fashion. They used it for functionality, unity, and, on the contrary, separation between social classes. Even though there is no set social class distinction in most cultures nowadays, certain items still indicate status and financial well-being. Like this concept of social distinction, almost everything we have today is either based on or a recreation of pieces that were made in ancient times. The people of Egypt, for example, were depicted as having used paint and other mixtures to color their faces, similar to our use of modern makeup. They placed a high value on beauty and material things, so much so that they buried their loved ones in tombs containing a large portion of that person’s possessions.

Another portion of the museum I found interesting was the statue of Minerva di Arezzo and the pieces found right after the statue. The bronze depiction of Minerva di Arezzo showed beautifully the draping fabric that was the style of that time. It was fascinating to see that flowy, draped fabric was most likely a necessary style of dress due to a lifestyle that involved a lot of laying down. The stone carvings in the room after this bronze statue showed poses of relaxation that were complimented by the loose, free silhouette of their clothing. This is an example of the necessary combination of fashion and function.

It was also interesting to see that common motifs used today (flowers, horses, etc.) were also popular in ancient times. The idea of drawing from nature to create a garment or accessory design is nothing new. An appreciation for the natural shapes and colors found on earth has always existed, and it is interesting to see how the interpretation of these natural elements has evolved throughout history, from realistic depictions to the more artistic and abstract representations seen today. Overall, the museum was quite fascinating and I enjoyed gaining a better understanding of the foundations from which our current fashions come. It is vital to have knowledge about the past in order for us to fully comprehend and appreciate the present.

-Rachel Weaver

Palazzo Pitti

The exhibit at the Pitti Palace was fascinating to see and learn about. Most fashion and costume exhibits I have been to are organised by designer. It was interesting to see fashion grouped by owner or donator, much like many art museums group art collections. Displaying the items in such a way communicates the view that fashion is indeed art.

My favourite part of the exhibit was seeing the remains of Eleonora di Toledo’s dress. It was fascinating to witness such a rare piece of Italian history, and nothing speaks to culture and history quite like fashion. We learned about the mistake Eleonora’s lady in waiting made on the very morning of her death. This simple mistake of dressing Eleonora with one stocking inside out played a large role in helping us understand the stitches and how the stockings were made. I also found it amazing that she attempted to reject the invention of mechanical knitwear because she was sensitive to its repercussions among women who earned money from knitting by hand.

Another part of the exhibit I found interesting was the collection involving Paul Poiret. The fact that he was one of the first to do international fashion shows and a fragrance connected to his brand is inspiring. I admire his creativity and savvy business mindset that caused many many others to follow his lead.

Overall, I really enjoyed the exhibit and was amazed at the beauty, detail, and care that went into constructing each and every garment. Each piece tells a story about the designer and the wearer, as well as the point in history in which it was made. We can learn so much about history through fashion, and I loved observing a few pieces that were significant to the evolution of today’s fashion industry.

-Rachel Weaver