Few artists do ethereal bohemian glam as well as Florence Welch. The British singer-songwriter has cultivated a fairytale, folksy image that often pulls from Renaissance-era opulence. It's a style that's perfectly in line with Gucci under creative director Alessandro Michele, whose eclectic magpie aesthetic has become synonymous with the Florence + the Machine frontwoman.
In fact, some of her most memorable red carpet moments have come courtesy of the Italian designer, who has also become a go-to for her concerts and stage costumes — ideal clothes for performing barefoot, as she usually does. If there's ever a designer-muse pairing, this almost certainly fits the bill.
"It is hard to describe, I just feel like our aesthetics are so intertwined," she tells PAPER over the phone from her home in London. "I feel like we inspire each other in terms of how he makes fashion in the way that I kind of make my songs which is with so much free association. With Alessandro's work, if there is beauty there is always decay — he is always mixing things up and I feel like I have that maximalism, that free association, in my work as well so I think that is why we are very in sync."
She cites her blue 2019 Met Gala dress and the pink number she wore from the 2016 Grammys as some of her favorite Gucci moments. The wardrobe for her High as Hope Tour, which concluded last year, was outfitted by the brand as well. "They were so beautiful and light ... you felt like a kind of ghost on stage," she says.
For her Met Gala look, Welch recalls the rather unconventional preparation and arrival she had to make. "It was fucking heavy and the way that you have to get to the Met Ball is so unglamorous because you just have to stand up in the back of a van and just hold on to the ceiling because you cannot sit down to get out," she explains. "It is a weird way to arrive but it is the only car that will fit the dress!"
Continuing her collaboration with Gucci (she recently starred in the brand's jewelry ads), Welch was tapped to front the campaign for their newest fragrance, Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori. The portraits and film were shot pre-COVID in the abandoned theaters of La Scarzuola, a medieval surrealist architectural compound in the Umbrian countryside.
Welch is joined by a trio of leading women — Anjelica Huston, Jodie Turner-Smith and Susie Cave — in the dreamy ads, photographed and directed by Floria Sigismondi. The film starts with Welch exploring the ancient ruins and ends with a close-up shot of her holding the perfume bottle as flowers fall over her from above.
"She is such a witch, but she understands how to capture a sort of beauty that is not pretty, but somehow kind of also creepy," Welch says of the director. "There is a sort of creepiness to everything that I love." And unlike her solo music videos, she describes the collaborative experience as more fun because "it's not just you." "It was a lot more of getting to play with amazing people, dancing with Jodie and Anjelica and getting flower petals thrown on me, it felt very fun and free."
You can view the full Gucci Bloom campaign, below.