The house’s first space in the world for tailor-made designs opens its curtains on Melrose Place
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Fashion collection images are so ubiquitous that it’s almost shocking to step into Gucci’s inaugural concept space, Gucci Salon, launched in Los Angeles, and see racks of meticulously embellished gowns from the atelier with no digital footprint. The one-off evening wear and tailoring pieces, awaiting personalization, are part of the house’s twice-yearly made-to-order collections and echo house codes, but never, ever appear on a catwalk. The new by-appointment space on Melrose Place holds these rarities, displaying the house’s highest creativity and craftsmanship under one West Hollywood roof. In celebration of the Salon’s opening, a few highly photographed designs also adorn the mirror-encrusted racks, including the sheer crystal gown memorably worn in 2021 by Dakota Johnson at the Venice Film Festival and Jodie Turner-Smith’s maximalist yellow feathered frock in which she walked along the Croisette at Cannes, also in 2021.
Gucci Salon is designed to evoke a private, intimate setting, filled with a curated selection of artisanal High Jewelry, watches, and precious leather goods, plus accessories crafted in exotic skins, Valigeria travel pieces, and decor specially arranged for each visit. Sheer window drapes keep its contents hiding in plain sight from passersby. The interiors, dreamed up by set designer Gideon Ponte, evoke a private home with deep pile carpet and vintage furniture complete with a dining table that can be filled, upon request, with selections from the Massimo Bottura–helmed Gucci Osteria in Beverly Hills.
The L.A. Salon is inspired by gatherings originating in 16th-century Italy inside private homes where exchanges of artistic and philosophical ideas took place. The name itself is derived from salone, the Italian word for the large reception halls inside residences where circles of friends and colleagues met for discussions. Other Salons are slated to follow in locations around the globe, facilitating such conversations that were also stoked by Aldo Gucci, son of Guccio Gucci, who opened a similar space above the house’s Beverly Hills boutique to showcase unique pieces in 1977, followed by one in New York in 1980, where refined creations could be viewed in private.
On Melrose Place, the elevated offerings that comprise Gucci’s most exceptional creations are made more so through new dialogs facilitated with each visit. Books of fabric swatches sit open, ready to spark new ideas. By appointment, 8400 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-372-0913; gucci.com.
April 18, 2023.
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