‘The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter’ Gets A Stylish Gucci Makeover

Kaguya By Gucci
Kaguya By Gucci

Taketori Monogatari or The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is a fictional prose narrative containing elements of Japanese folklore.

It is considered the oldest surviving work in the monogatari form with such gravitas that it has continued to shape contemporary culture through the 2013 Studio Ghibli film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and today, Kaguya by Gucci.

Though its exact date of composition is unknown, the tale has been identified as proto-science fiction – Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, a protégé of Tom Ford, launched the venerated house into the fashion stratosphere with his adept adoption of sociocultural influences.

Just as Aria was a tribute to Gucci’s 100th anniversary and a collage of all the things that have been a part of the brand’s DNA, from references to the Savoy hotel in London where the founder Guccio Gucci worked during the 1920s to Tom Ford’s era in the 2000s, Kaguya by Gucci is an amalgamation of the ideas and concepts explored by the unknown author in the late 9th or early 10th century, essentially reinterpreted and curated by Michele.

Fashion And Art

Echoing the Japanese tradition of transforming bamboo into various tools, which dates back to ancient times, the fantastical story of Taketori Monogatari opens with an old bamboo cutter who goes into the bamboo forest and finds a glowing bamboo plant with a princess named Kaguya sitting inside.

Her beauty continues to attract many suitors, including the Emperor. As an extra-terrestrial being raised by a human on Earth, Kaguya is eventually taken back to the Moon by her real extra-terrestrial family. Her story also has similarities to a pre-modern Superman origin story. Analogously, Kaguya by Gucci sheds a new light on the “super icon” that Gucci’s bamboo top-handle bags have become while incorporating Michele’s eclectic aesthetic into the classical and modern Japanese landscape.

Directed by Makoto Nagahisa, the 2022 version is staged in Tokyo and set to an original song composed by Keiichiro Shibuya. Dressed in pieces from the Gucci Love Parade collection, the characters come to rediscover true love and self. Hikari Mitsushima plays Princess Kaguya, Aoi Yamada the bamboo cutter, and Eita Nagayama the emperor who falls in love with the princess, this time amidst the lights and bustle of Tokyo.

Released from August 10, Kaguya by Gucci is available on Gucci.com, Gucci’s official YouTube channel and Gucci’s official SNS account. In celebration of the short film release, a Gucci Bamboo Pop-Up store (in Tokyo until September 20) will present the Gucci Bamboo 1947 and Gucci Diana handbags, the two Beloved lines that feature bamboo top handles, as well as other small leather goods enriched with bamboo accents.  In the central hall, an installation related to Kaguya by Gucci will invite visitors into the world of the House’s latest story.

(Images: Gucci)