Cannes 2012: Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini Talks Film Foundation, Fashion at the Fest (Q&A)

Gucci Creative Director Friday Giannini

This year's annual gala at the fest celebrates the newly restored Sergio Leone film "Once Upon a Time in America" on Friday night.

Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini co-hosts Gucci’s Film Foundation restoration gala in Cannes annually; this year’s gala celebrates the newly restored four-hour-plus Sergio Leone film Once Upon a Time in America on Friday night.

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The Hollywood Reporter: Why did Gucci originally chose The Film Foundation to underwrite?

Frida Giannini: Gucci has a long history with film dating back to the late 1940’s, and we are proud to support the work of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation to keep these vibrant, timeless films alive. An appreciation for and commitment to craftsmanship, quality and heritage is deeply rooted in both Gucci and The Film Foundation’s core values, which has and continues to make for a very natural partnership

THR: Tell us several major moments you can recall from Gucci Film Foundation events over the years.

Giannini: There were so many major moments, but if I had to pick one, I would say walking the red carpet with Martin Scorsese in 2010; he is a living legend. I am looking forward to many more memorable moments this time around.

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THR: Can you describe a major outfit you have worn on the Cannes red carpet yourself?

Giannini: 2010 was the debut of our Gucci Première collection. I wore a Gucci Première floor-length gown with draped back detail and embroidered with silver lace and micro palettes. When walking the red carpet at Cannes, only a long, glamorous gown will do.

THR: Why did Gucci decide that Cannes was the place to debut Gucci Première?

Giannini: The time felt right for many reasons: We were at Cannes, premiering an iconic Italian film, and joined by some of the most strikingly beautiful people in the world, including Salma Hayek. Salma wearing Gucci Première for the first time in Cannes is a moment I will never forget.

THR: How long does it take your couturiers to create a Gucci Première dress?

Giannini: From the initial sketch and design to the end result, it can take from 2 to 5 months to complete one of our Gucci Première gowns: it depends on the complexity and quantity of fittings needed or requested.

THR: Can you tell us your favorite film of all time?

Giannini: Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is one of my favorites and also one we recently restored with The Film Foundation. La Dolce Vita is a film that paved the way for a new world with an obsession for style, fashion and celebrity. It was a period of profound transformation that also helped to export an Italian style that subsequently contributed to the country’s own cultural trademark around the world. This was a golden period in Gucci’s own history, when the House first emerged on the world stage partly due to the visibility it received from its international jet set clientele.

Read THR's Cannes Daily No. 3 here (PDF).