Frida Giannini is at the top of her game, literally! As the Creative Director for Gucci and the subject of The Director: An Evolution In Three Acts, which premiered this week during the Tribeca Film Festival, she has a hand in the creation of every single item under the brand’s name.
Act one takes a look as the fashion house’s origins as a leather goods manufacturer in the early 1920s and its rise to fame as an Italian souvenir for Hollywood’s brightest during the late ‘60s and ‘70s. In her debut collection for the brand, she turned to the Grace Kelly floral print scarf from the fashion house's heritage that had been iconic to her family and resulted in a commercial success. The audience watches her take initiative from every aspect, including meeting with Anna Wintour, attending fittings, hosting parties, as well as choosing and coaching the models for her shows. “When you envision a fashion show, you think about a dream, and when I want to dream, I like to work with youth,” she says in the film.
Drawing the connection to today’s young Hollywood, the film looks behind the scenes of a shoot with the documentary’s producer and face of the brand, James Franco. Gianni notes that it takes a lot to be a Gucci man. “In order to be a Gucci boy, you have to be very confident, very powerful, very sensual,” Giannini says as she encourages a model for her Fall 2012 menswear show. “You are the most beautiful man in the world.”
Giannini, like many other designers, are looking to emerging markets, which took the brand all the way to Shanghai for act two. Between snapping up vintage finds for the archives in Beijing, Giannini puts on the brand’s first runway show featuring some of China’s hottest models as well as unveil their campaign with actress Fan Bingbing.
For the third act the audience watches as she edits her Spring 2013 women’s collection from joking about a “chic Flintones cell phone” in the form of a Lucite clutch, to her parents' reflections of her rise through the ranks while maintaining a private home life, to revealing her pregnancy to hairstylist Luigi Murenu and makeup artist Pat McGrath when she thought the mics were off. “When I was a child, I saw myself becoming a mother with a beautiful family,” she said in the beginning of the film but now looks at her child as a way to step back a bit from the business and enjoy the other aspects of her life further.
As the flurry of bright colors and ruffles from the collection hit the runway, she summarizes her eye for the brand’s aesthetic. “For me, clothes are always first a way for people to be seductive,” Giannini she said. “I don’t think the power woman needs to be necessarily hard. You can be sweet and sensual, and feminine. I think that is the strongest part.”
The film’s deep dive into the fashion will open the eyes to the casual fashion observer and gets down to the nitty-gritty of maintaining a brand that will satisfy the curiosity of the sartorially savvy while showing off Giannini’s incredible ability to keep life and career in balance successfully. The film will be screened throughout the rest of the week and is well worth it!
Don't believe us? Check out the trailer below: