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Following its highly successful debut in Shanghai, the travelling Gucci Cosmos show has made its radiant entrance in the UK capital.

The monumental exhibition celebrating the brand’s 102 years unveils extensive collection of Gucci archive items to trace different aspects of the Italian fashion house and timeless contributions from its “founding fathers”– from the nascent ambitions of Guccio Gucci to the pioneering spirit of his sons Aldo and Rodolfo, and the wildly imaginative powers of more recent creative directors Tom Ford, Frida Giannini, Alessandro Michele, and now Sabato De Sarno.

Bringing the magic and creativity to life

Gucci Cosmos was conceived and designed by fashion theorist and critic Maria Luisa Frisa and British contemporary artist Es Es Devlin. The latter is the go-to designer for Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Adele, Pet Shop Boys and U2 as well as US Super Bowl, Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, The US Super Bowl and other esteemed events.

Anyone who watched “The Lehman Trilogy” remembers the signature glass cube, the centerpiece of the set which was also the brainchild of Es Devlin. Impressive immersive video art for Gucci Cosmos was created by multidisciplinary artist and co-founder of Hard Feelings Studio Polina Zakharova.

House of Gucci

It might be said that the story of Gucci began in London in 1897 when a young Guccio Gucci took a job as a luggage porter at the city’s exclusive The Savoy hotel. Carrying guests’ luggage through its famous revolving entrance doors and operating the first electric lift in Britain up to the rooms and suites, the teenage Guccio encountered up close tastes and lifestyle of the international elite.

The Savoy and Gucci

To reflect this page in Gucci’s history the London version of the exhibition opens with a meticulous recreation of The Savoy lobby as it would have looked in that era, complete with iconic black-and-white marble floor. Visitors then step into a large-scale reproduction of The Savoy’s famous red lift which even replicates the sensations of an elevator.

The next room resembling an airport terminal you’re met with on a rotating luggage trolley filled with various Gucci suitcase and bag designs from the 1920s to today.

Inside a hippodrome

Another section consists of is archival clothing pieces and immersive large-format screens where digital life-size horses gallop around you amidst flashing lights and pulsing music.

Cabinet of Wonders

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a space called the Cabinet of Wonders where a huge revolving cabinet of curiosities that opens and closes revealing a wildly eclectic collection of garments and accessories.

In total, there are eleven rooms so even if you are not into fashion there are plenty of cool features and installations to see at Gucci Cosmos, including a pair of monumental 10-metre-tall white statues, a red cube projecting a series of personal memories, phrases, and other fragments in both Italian and English by Gucci’s new creative director Sabato De Sarno and many more.

Gucci Cosmos runs at 180 Studios from 11th October – 31st December 2023. Tickets cost £18, and you can book here.


Image credits: © Gucci Cosmos