Can a handbag inspire a garden? Yes, ladies, it certainly can. Gucci’s famous ‘Flora’ floral motif created for Princess Grace in 1966 is behind the Sarah Eberle designed Gucci Flora Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
The original Flora motif for Princess Grace was drawn by Milan illustrator Vittorio Accornero, commissioned by Rodolfo Gucci “to design the most beautiful floral scarf he could create”. The Flora motif became famous on scarves, handbags and shoes through the 1970s and was revived in a new range in 2005.
Sarah Eberle’s design for the Gucci Flora Garden is a curious mix of super girly flower arrangements (even the graphics are adorned with floating butterflies) and lacy steel structure around a Gucci Flora centrepiece. Very different from her Monaco Garden at Chelsea in 2011.
The garden is inspired by the floral bouquets featured on the famous scarf which represent all four seasons, and depicts a courtyard space attached to a flagship store in Western Europe.
The raised catwalk allows small scale fashion shows and displays to take place while the hanging ‘bouquets’ can be changed seasonally to correspond to the fashion house’s current portfolio. The overhead gantry is used to suspend plants, attach lighting and to support fabric. The chains used to suspend the plants are inspired by Gucci jewellery. The garden is seen as high in maintenance in much the same way as the interior displays within a Gucci store.
Two mannequins on either side of the catwalk are reflected by mirrors, making the catwalk appear as if it floats over a carpet of flowers. The catwalk is made of white, seamless flooring, reflecting the background theme of the Flora scarf.
Conveniently for those show goers with plenty of cash to spare, the nearby Chelsea Sloane St Gucci store will have a new release of Flora motif handbags in stock.