Gucci re-creates the iconic Flora print with Kris Knight

November 24, 2014 - Italy

The Italian fashion house Gucci has joined forces with the Canadian painter Kris Knight to re-create the label’s iconic flora print for the Cruise 2015 collection.

Featuring provocative patterns of nocturnal blossoms like Belladonna and Datura, the symbolic blooms that women in ancient Rome used for seduction and desire, the new prints include bloom patterns with healing powers, such as the Poppy, Henbane and Mandrake, as well as plants that stand as symbols of protection including Clover, Dandelion and Nightshade.

The re-interpreted version ‘Flora Knight’ pattern has been incorporated in the Florentine house’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear clothing, fashion accessories and canvas and leather items.

While talking about the newly modified edition of the legendary pattern, Kris Knight says, “For my Flora reinterpretation, I wanted to create a painting that paid homage to Accornero’s delicate original by utilizing his symmetrical composition but to create a strong, feminine, magical and quietly dangerous Flora of my own. I referenced ancient pagan Rome, picking plants that women of this time used to command power.”

“I went beyond the flower box and picked botanicals that either blossomed at night, dawn or dusk but also chose plants that have strong roots for adaptability, persistence and resistance in harsh environments. My paintings often tip-toe between dichotomies, so I wanted to create a Flora design that had elements of beauty, strength and desire, but also infuses a subtext of darkness and enchantment,” he elaborates.

Re-discovered in 2005 by current Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, the classic flora was first created on an original silk scarf for the wife of Prince Rainier of Monaco, Grace Kelly, in 1966 by artist Vittorio Accornero. The silk scarf featured nine bouquets of flowers from all four seasons, with berries, butterflies, dragonflies and insects in a beautifully graceful, richly colourful and enchanting illustration.

A graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kris Knight’s works have been included in several public and private collections including The Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, The Oppenheimer Collection, Gucci, The Agnes Etherington Museum of Kingston, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and 21c Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

Founded in Florence in 1921, Gucci is one of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands that sells its products through a network of directly operated boutiques, e-commerce and complementary business channels. (PB)