9 posts tagged "Frida Giannini"
The tale of Gucci’s famed Flora print is a pretty good one. As the story goes, Grace Kelly visited the Gucci boutique in Milan in 1966 with her husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and Rodolfo Gucci insisted that she take a gift with her in addition to the bamboo bag she purchased. When the Hollywood icon-turned-princess asked for a scarf, the designer took it upon himself to create a whole new pattern befitting a woman of her stature, thus begetting the multicolored floral print that has become a signature of the house. Gucci’s current creative director, Frida Giannini, revived the design via canvas bags in 2005, and this year sees its latest resurrection in fragrance form.
Riffing on Gucci’s 2009 Flora scent, a mélange of different blooms blended into a single bottle, Giannini has singled out every prized petal in the original Flora print and created single-note homages to each. The Flora Garden, as the collection of five perfumes is called, includes Gorgeous Gardenia, which blends red berries, pear, and brown sugar with the aromatic white flower; Gracious Tuberose, which pairs this most sensual of all blooms with hints of violet leaf, orange flower, and white cedarwood; Generous Violet, an ode to the pretty purple plant with orris extracts and a touch of suede; as well as Glorious Mandarin, which boasts a fresh burst of citrus tempered by peony and jasmine essences and the intriguing addition of a piña colada accord (it’s not just for tropical beverages anymore). And then there’s Glamorous Magnolia, the freesia and warm chocolate-spiked magnolia eau that happens to be a hit with Gucci Flora Garden face Abbey Lee Kershaw (click here to check out the platinum runway star’s other product essentials). Lovers of more unisex eaux be forewarned: All five flacons are unapologetically feminine. But there’s nothing wrong with getting a little girly—every once in a while.
Beholding the backstage scene at Gucci was something of a serious flashback—and we’re not just talking about the overt references to Surrealist artist Man Ray and Blondie front woman Debbie Harry. There was Pat McGrath, brow bleach in hand, calling to mind her blocked-out arches phase circa Fall 2009, when an all-forehead, all-the-time mandate swept the beauty establishment. While the makeup guru has since joined her face-painting cohorts in ushering the return of full, boyish brows, she wanted a “tougher, stronger look” for Frida Giannini’s 1920′s-skewed presentation—the better to showcase a series of “Art Deco, punk” raccoon eyes. Creating a flawless complexion, McGrath focused her energy on lids, lining the entire eye with Max Factor Kohl Pencil in Black to hold additional pigments like its Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow in Onyx Smoke, which was topped with a black shimmer shadow and multiple swipes of its Xperience Volume Mascara.
Like Paul Hanlon at Acne, hairstylist Luigi Murenu was captivated by that phase of life when Debby Harry had bleached-blond hair with black undertones. Conveniently, for Murenu, the new wave rocker’s skunk streaks corresponded well to Man Ray’s avant-garde black-and-white photography. Prepping strands with the John Frieda Luxurious Volume line, Murenu slicked hair back into two ponytails, tucking them underneath themselves and securing them with electrical tape at the base—a way more striking look than a boring old elastic. Then, he used a colored cream makeup to paint black streaks along sleek slide sections, reverting to a gold pigment to create a similar contrast on brunettes. The hair team at Alberta Ferretti was no doubt thrilled when models arrived for the next show.
Full disclosure: All the seventies/Studio 54 references for Spring have become a bit repetitive for us of late. But when that era-specific beauty is re-created with the kind of precision that we saw backstage at Gucci yesterday, it becomes new and exciting again; Jerry Hall and her cohorts could not ask for a more beautiful retrospective than the sleek, polished look makeup artist Pat McGrath and coif master Luigi Murenu churned out for the occasion. Coating models’ hair with John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum, Murenu created deep side parts and secured models’ tresses in ponytails with a leather band (that happened to match the handbags in the show), before braiding and twisting his plaits onto themselves for a coiled chignon. But the real punch came from a smokin’ hot, glossy red mouth that McGrath painted onto pouts with a brush dipped into a mixture of not one, not two, but three different scarlet pigments for the “orangey-red” color she felt was deserving of the navel-baring jumpsuits Frida Giannini sent down the runway. As to avoid making the girls look too “retro,” McGrath focused her attention on dewy skin, using CoverGirl’s as-yet-unreleased NatureLuxe Silk foundation (which she debuted backstage at Anna Sui) and a glossy eye, courtesy of a slick of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream on top of metallic brown eye shadow. Finishing touches came in the form of CoverGirl’s LashBlast Fusion mascara and MAC Lacquer in Shirelle, a cherry red varnish applied to fingers and pedicured toes, which peeped out of crushed velvet and gold python strappy stilettos. In a word, swoon.
In case you missed the Evan Rachel Wood-fronted ad visuals that hit the blogosphere last month—or that teaser of the Frank Miller-directed commercial that “leaked” onto the Internet a few weeks later—Gucci is launching a very high-profile, very highly publicized new fragrance. Guilty, as the geranium, lilac, and peach eau with the house’s signature patchouli dry down is called, finally bowed this week, and to echo the young, sexy, and daring Gucci woman the scent is created for—a woman who “doesn’t wait around for something to happen,” according to Frida Giannini—the Gucci creative director has made something big happen for herself: She’ll officially introduce the latest olfactory addition to her growing brand during the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday. Viewers of the show, which played host to the Kanye West-Taylor Swift spectacle of 2009, will watch a somewhat less dramatic scene unfold when the full-length Guilty commercial-cum-short film—with a Depeche Mode-penned soundtrack to boot—debuts on Sunday. We caught up with Giannini before the premiere to discuss beauty (naturally), her Barbra Streisand shout-out, and shooting in the house that Fellini built.
Guilty is your fifth fragrance for Gucci, which pretty much makes you an old pro at this point. How does working on beauty relate to the more fashion-specific endeavors you produce for the house?
Creating something for beauty is very different. I had to learn and train to understand what goes into creating a fragrance and the scent. The timing is very different from creating a collection; it took two years to create Guilty! Deciding on the bottle design, packaging, the design of the elements, and the choice of the materials, however, are all very similar to designing an accessory.
How involved in the formulation process were you?
I was very involved from start to finish. In order to create the fragrance, I worked with P&G Prestige specialists to understand the right balance of the elements. We would brainstorm together first, then they’d come back to me with four to five different options. Then I would eliminate and pick which options fit the project. From there, we’d determine the right balance, if it was too sweet, too floral, or too strong on the skin. It’s a long process.
Sounds like it. What about the concept for the fragrance itself—how did that come about?
When we were thinking of the name, I knew I wanted it to be something that was very short and memorable. One day I was driving my car and I heard the song “Guilty” by Barbra Streisand, and I said, “OK—Guilty. We have the name!” Also, I was in love with the beautiful image of Barbra Streisand’s album cover with Kris Kristofferson, where she is embracing him and her arms look like the interlocking Gs on the fragrance bottle. I love this picture. This was also the inspiration for the print campaign.