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Gucci's Playbook

Q&A

BY Brandon Palas

With a taste for David Bowie and Diet Coke, Frida Giannini brings an attitude to her work that is both seriously provocative and surprisingly down-to-earth. On the eve of the Fall-Winter 2011 collections, we sat down with Gucci's creative director to discuss models, muses and everything that goes into producing her ultra-sexy, high-glam collections.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU START PLANNING FOR FASHION WEEK?

My work begins months before the actual show—for example, I drew inspiration for the Spring-Summer 2011 collection from my surroundings in Morocco while on location for the Fall-Winter 2010 campaign shoot. I often work on the menswear and the womenswear collections together. In my head, the Gucci man and woman are in a relationship, they are a couple.

WHERE DO YOU MOST OFTEN FIND INSPIRATION FOR THE COLLECTION AND PRESENTATION?

The creative process is ongoing. I am constantly observing my surroundings: people, places, objects. My creative vision involves a certain stylistic marriage between past, present and future.

PERSONAL MUSE?

Charlotte Casiraghi is one of my muses; she is chic, confident, glamorous and self-aware, the epitome of the Gucci woman I have in mind. I worked with her to design an equestrian collection she wears while horse riding.

WHAT'S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?

I am so passionate about music that there is never a set playlist; it really depends on my mood. I am fond of the '70s and the '80s and enjoy the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, as well as new music. You can find many of my favorites on the Gucci App.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MODELS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SHOWS?

I really do not play favorites. Sometimes I work with the same models—women who turn heads and men who command attention—but I also like including new faces who have never been seen before.

FASHION WEEK HABITS: ANY SPECIAL RITUALS?

I try to go to bed as early as possible! I always have Diet Coke on hand.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO ONCE THE SHOW IS OVER?

As soon as I come backstage my team embraces me and we have a group hug to let go of all of the stress.

WHAT DOES THE WEEK AFTER THE SHOW LOOK LIKE?

The week after the show I'm always hard at work in Milan selecting looks for the new campaign. I also meet with editors while they're in town.

BEST PART OF FASHION WEEK?

During the show as I watch my designs come down the runway. It's always a very rewarding moment.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO TAKE THAT FINAL BOW?

I'm always touched when I'm met with applause at the end of the show. It's a mixture of emotions: I'm relieved because there's so much work that goes into each collection, but at the same time I feel a sense of progress because I am able to evolve and take my vision further with each show.


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