Milan’s temporary Gucci Décor store is a portal into the mind of creative director Alessandro Michele, whose vision for the home transports visitors to the boutique into an “apartment” where Gucci patterned wallpaper brings carnivalesque colour to every room, blooms burst from velvet chairs and china dinner services, embroidered rabbits appear on Gucci-motif blankets, and porcelain leopards and peacocks perch atop animal-print tables. The aesthetic is eccentric maximalist meets contemporary cool, brought to life inside an elegant building on the Via Santo Spirito, which opened its doors this week to coincide with Milan’s international furniture fair, and can be explored until the end of June.
The space houses both new and existing designs spanning porcelain, furniture and furnishings, which are decorated with patterns and symbols from the house lexicon of motifs. The furniture, arranged in a series of room sets, showcases pieces from the collection (the metal fold-down tables are priced from €1,100 and the embroidered velvet chairs are €5,500 each) with restored antiques and purpose-built display cabinets. Blankets and throws (such as the aforementioned Game throw blanket with rabbit, which takes its design cues from Gucci’s ready-to-wear collection, €790) drape across the arms of chairs or hang from the walls, while the brand’s passion for porcelain is displayed in the dining room, where backlit shelves are stacked with charger plates and the table is dressed with candelabra and pieces of Herbarium tableware (set of two dinner plates, €220). Gucci acquired historic Italian porcelain manufacturer Richard Ginori in 2013 and the company, which was under the artistic direction of Gio Ponti from 1923 to 1933, now makes all the porcelain for the collection.
Arranged over two floors, the eclectic ensemble is curated with considerable skill and each room evokes a different mood. “We don’t offer a prescriptive style – this is a place where people can choose pieces that reflect their own personality and use them as they wish,” the sales advisor says, as he guides me around the store. “That’s why we’ve been very careful to call it a Décor collection rather than an interiors collection.”
To coincide with Milan’s Salone del Mobile and the opening of the boutique, Gucci’s mobile app has been updated to include its new products – allowing users to view them in situ in their own home through augmented reality – while a new function for Apple iPhones encourages them to discover historic spots in Milan. Upon their arrival at each destination, a Gucci Décor product will appear on screen as a virtual oversized sculpture.