Gucci Museo Opens in Florence | Wintour Calls Berlusconi a Dictator

American designer Tom Ford, whose vision reincarnated the Gucci brand for the 21st century, has apparently been ‘airbrushed’ out of the history of Gucci grand, celebrating its 90th anniversary and the opening of it first museum in Florence this week.

Global star power descended on Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, home to the 14-century Palazzo della Mercanzia dating to 1337, and now housing the Gucci Museo. The museum is steps away from the 13th century Palazzo Vecchio, with Michelangelo’s David also a neighbor.

Gucci president and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco stressed that the new homage to Gucci is ‘a dynamic, never nostalgic space’, one that will also travel around the world. The space will also serve as a focal point for contemporary art installations, with the support of the Pinault Foundation, which owns Gucci.

Works by Bill Viola are the first of the contemporary art shows.

Gucci creative director Frida Gianni is credited with germinating the idea of the Gucci Museo soon after her arrival in 2005.

“This is so important for the brand because it’s not just about bags and shoes but history and Italy,” said François-Henri Pinault, head of the luxury conglomerate PPR, which owns Gucci. “What makes a luxury brand is a combination of history and craftsmanship, design, and materials. Gucci is a part of Italian history. It was important to make a real statement.”

No Nonsense Anna

Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani. Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/GettyI’m not sure I ever remember Anna Wintour ever having such choice public words for anyone, as she dished out on Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in an interview in Saturday’s La Repubblica newspaper.

‘I am disgusted. I have no other words. I am disgusted and embarrassed: How can Italy tolerate Silvio Berlusconi and his bevy of girls?’ said Wintour. Giving further weight to her comments was the placement of the Q&A interview in the paper’s politics pages, and not the style section.

Calling Italy’s current political situation ‘a dictatorship’, Anna Wintour said that nothing would make her happier than to see women protesting in the streets against Berlusconi during fashion week.

Reflecting on the Prada, the editor of US Vogue reflected: ‘On one side, there is the Made in Italy, the designers, the great creations that credit you around the world and that have no equal. On the other side, there is a political reality that is so compromised. How can you tolerate all this?’

Now that’s what we call putting the cards on the table.

When in Rome

THE SCENE | Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni in a famous moment from ‘La Dolce Vita.’ via AlamyFinding Fellini WSJ

Writer Lee Marshall says that Fellini’s spirit lives on in Rome, but you must know where to find it. Join his literary tour at WSJ. We like his closing comment on the combination of showmanship and also self-deprecation that remains Rome’s defining feature.

Everywhere you go in Rome, somebody’s shooting another film. As “8½” (1963) made clear, Fellini viewed the artifice of the film set as a metaphor for life’s tragicomic circus. He would have chuckled at a shoot I witnessed in the Giardino degli Aranci at the top of the Aventine Hill, a spot for lovers and loners with views across Roman rooftops to St. Peter’s Basilica. It was the wrong time of year for the garden’s famous orange trees to bear fruit, so some lowly wrangler had the job of attaching oranges to the trees with wire.

100,000 Italian Women

75% of Italian Housewives Dissatisfied with Their Lives Say ‘Women and Quality of Life’ report AOC Sexual Politics

Anne here. In a moment of serious reflection, it seems that even I may be guilty of glamourizing the life of Italian women who declared themselves the unhappiest in Europe in a recent survey of 4,000 women by Women and Quality of Life, a think tank on women. The women surveyed lived in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and UK.

76 per cent of Italian housewives were dissatisfied with their lives, compared to 51 per cent in the UK, 53 per cent in Germany, 57 per cent in France and 63 per cent in Spain.

Half of Italian women said they regretted getting married and two-thirds regretted having children. This reality comes in a country with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe.

More than 100,000 Italian women and their supporters turned out in Rome in February, saying that Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s dalliances with young women humiliate all women and degrade female dignity.

Queen Carine

Carine Roitfeld isn’t sure what she will call her new magazine, which will be published on paper and in English as a quarterly.  The first issue will debut in September 2012.

“I could call it Carine Roitfeld in the manner of Oprah Winfrey, and put myself on the cover every month like she does, but I’m not sure if this is what people want.”

NY Mag made up the Oprah-like Carine cover, but the former editor of Vogue Paris has a name in mind, one she’s running through the trademark process. Fashionologie writes that her dream team would include Marie-Amelie Sauve, Mario Testino and Stephen Gan.

Roitfeld says her beautiful, chic style, art and beauty collectible won’t compete with Vogue. Tongue in cheek, Carine says ‘Besides, I’m not sure they see me coming from a very good eye. It will not be easy for me to run independently.It’s a little earthen pot against the iron pot.’  Bravo, Carine!

See Roitfeld’s Liz Taylor editorials for V Magazine’s tribute issue.