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“When I was a child, going to the stationery store and finding pencils, pens, notebooks, games, meant living a dream in my daily routine. They were elegant, well-made objects that revealed a work of craftsmanship and that, even though they were part of my daily life, were able to radiate a magical, mysterious and wonderful aura. For this reason, presenting the Gucci Lifestyle collection in Milan through Gucci Cartoleria is a kind of consecration, a tribute that I had to pay. To this end, I imagined a small room of curiosities, a Wunderkammer, like Ali Baba’s cave, that could house these everyday objects and bring them back to a fairy-tale dimension. I could have included them in the collections a long time ago, but they were not strictly related to clothing and accessories. That’s why I wanted to build a fantasy space where they could be displayed, to recapture in everyday life that sense of wonder that makes them so dear to me.” – Alessandro Michele.
From September 5 to 17, in conjunction with Milano Design Week, Gucci will open a very special temporary store in Milan, at Via Manzoni 19; a space where the fairy tale becomes reality. The store is Gucci’s take on traditional Italian stationery, where unexpected surprises abound and suspended in a fantasy setting.
True to the “room of curiosities” inspiration that underlies the entire Gucci Lifestyle collection, creative director Alessandro Michele conceived Gucci Cartoleria as both a traditional store and an enchanted hideaway; around every corner there is a spell waiting to be discovered, transforming it into a place to explore and examine. Visitors may encounter flying notebooks, chessboards that play with themselves, enchanted objects, endless bookcases, micro-apartments for mice with Gucci furniture. It’s Lifestyle, of course, but not what one usually imagines.
The Lifestyle collection will be available from September 10 in selected Gucci boutiques and on Gucci.com.
In perfect harmony with the spirit of the collection, the campaign celebrates its launch by revealing dreamy images where wonders and enchantments reign. The photographs and video were shot by Max Siedentopf in Tuscany, in Castello Sonnino; a 16th century fortress built by the Medici family. As if by magic, everything is transported into a fluid universe. Nothing is what it seems and unpredictable eccentricities can appear anywhere.
Notebooks flutter like birds, pencils sprout like flowers, pencil boxes become volcanoes that in their eruption spew clouds of vibrantly colored smoke. Reflections and visual distortions make one doubt whether what one sees is real or not. The pastimes materialize in a dream world in which the card castles take on an enormous size. Backgammon games are interrupted by a parade of snails.
Everything is upside down and turned inside out like Alice in Wonderland; the bedtime ritual takes place outdoors on green lawns with pajamas, pillows, masks and slippers printed with Gucci’s beloved designs. In this lyrical and fascinating atmosphere, viewers cross the threshold into another dimension.
The collection, which will be available from September 10 in selected Gucci stores and on Gucci.com, includes a large selection of stationery items such as notebooks with Gucci supreme canvas covers or Gucci’s Demetra™ material, an innovative development by the House’s own technicians and craftsmen. This material is created using the same process as in tanning with non-animal raw materials from renewable and bio-based sources.
The notebook and notepad sheets are made from FSC-certified pure cellulose paper; and the cover of each model features a motif-a graphic print, floral design or Disney character-that is then repeated on the sheets, with blue, red, green or gold-colored borders to match the color of the binding and marker ribbon; each with the GG watermark. The brand logo is hot-stamped on the inside.
The notebooks are complemented by the hexagonal notepad, again made of GG supreme or Demetra™ canvas and also featuring Gucci motifs on the cover and inside. The sheets are edged in blue, red, green or gold. For those who like handwritten letters, the letter case contains 20 envelopes and 20 cards with a Gucci print on the outside. A stationery set with a notebook, 20 envelopes and 20 cards is also available.
To write on this very special and precious stationery material, the House has created a new ballpoint pen, designed according to the rules of “Divine Proportion“, in which the proportional relationship between the cap and the barrel are an expression of the golden ratio. The refillable pen, presented in a case made of Demetra™, is made of low-lead brass, plated in palladium or gold, using a nickel-free galvanic process. Pencil cases are also available in either GG supreme or Demetra™ canvas, with different patterns.
A zippered case matches a set of colored pencils that can be rolled up, with a brown leather trim and a clasp with the House’s green-red-green colored stripe. The latter item consists of 40 cedar wood Caran d’Ache hexagonal colored pencils, each marked with a logo and hand-printed stars hot-stamped on foil, making each pencil a unique piece.
There are six graphite pencils inside the two styles of handmade pencil boxes, oval or oblong. Both the pencils and the boxes are printed with Gucci designs. The writing utensil offering is completed by a selection of glass-domed paperweights, produced by an Italian glass artisan. The presence of micro-bubbles and opacity ensure that they have been handcrafted, with a base made of Demetra™ that displays iconic Gucci decorative elements along with a hot-stamped logo.
For leisure and entertainment there are games and playing cards in classic Gucci style. The playing cards that come in cases covered with GG supreme (one or two decks) feature a mythical landscape print on the top; while those housed in cases decorated with the geometric-style G print show this same print on the back. The playing cards are manufactured by Modiano, a celebrated and historic Italian company founded in Trieste in 1868 by Saul David Mondiano; a merchant hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece.
The house has also developed a handcrafted dice set, made in Italy from organic resin using traditional manufacturing techniques. The resin features a mix of colors for a veined effect, making each die unique. Each face shows digitally printed stars (instead of the usual dots) and decorative GG symbols. The case containing a set of five dice is covered in either GG supreme or Demetra™ canvas, the latter in a choice of plain black or two versions of geometric-style G print – red or yellow.
Briefcases containing a poker or backgammon set also make excellent gifts. Their shape is inspired by the 1970s briefcases found in the Gucci Archive in Florence. The sets include handmade chips made with organic resin for a veined effect, making each piece unique. The briefcases are offered in a geometric-style G print in bright colors or in GG supreme canvas, with brown leather handles and edges.
In the category of fun and useful items, fans made of wood and satin silk printed with iconic Gucci designs are presented in cases with the same motifs. For the discerning traveler, there is a set containing sleep masks, pillow and slippers handcrafted from sustainable silk and viscose, printed in a variety of the House’s designs. The collection also includes slippers for maximum comfort, and each pair can be stored in a matching printed drawstring bag. With the well-dressed globetrotter in mind, Gucci has also created a garment bag made from water-repellent linen, treated to be rain and stain resistant, and offering a variety of prints, complete with a hanger.
Finally, the silk satin pajamas feature different prints from the House and come in a matching silk pouch with an inner Gucci label with the same print found on the garment.
All this and more in Milan…. If you go you already know.