Just about everything I've read so far about Gucci drew comparisons with Wes Anderson and I would tend to agree that there is something very Anderson-esque about these characters. That term by the way was coined by the legendary Roger Ebert who penned many essays on Anderson's work which I highly recommend. When combined with those lush Persian carpets used to line the runway it evokes scenes from the director's opus The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) as well as stills from Hotel Chevalier (2007). There's so much more going on though it seems almost an insult to simplify the collection even when it parallels the work of one of my favourite artists. For one thing, this collections seems to hark back to 2009, i.e. the golden years before blogging had made waves in social media and fashion was both frivolous and fun. Outfits were less focused on curating the work of the latest IT designer and more about experimentation. The blogosphere was a tight-knit community of women genuinely interested in sharing ideas and catchy taglines such as "follow for follow" had not yet been coined. Frankly, we were all the more richer for it.
The collection as
a whole makes me pine for simple times when billowing, vintage pieces
could be worn with the latest trends as seen from the high street and
pairs of kooky oversized glasses were inching their way into fashion.
The latter have of course become synonymous with the archetypal Manic
Pixie Dream Girl (a term which still lingers much to creator Nathan
Rabin's displeasure) but it's interesting to note how quickly they have
been revived. This is largely due to the Internet expediting the rate at
which we share information and ultimately consume trends. So basically
everything that was old or tired has become vintage within the span of
less than a decade and we are all time-travelers of our own making. I
feel like Doc Brown but without the messy clumps of wild white hair but I
suppose those puppy dog eyes will look only larger and even more sad
behind grandma's glasses.
For me growing up
Gucci was never synonymous with the most up to date trends but rather
handbags and inevitably cheap knock-offs. I'm starting to realise there
is a renaissance within the fashion world in terms of traditional houses
experiencing life anew, or when scrawling through archives online, that
these brands were always cool and sophisticated. I was just unable to
appreciate their beauty until now. Although logos experienced their
moment in the sun only a few seasons ago I feel that without omnipresent
logos chasing me up and down the street I am at ease with a brand's
personal image. For Gucci that meant the occasional appearance of their
signature stripes of hardware details appearing on some shoes and
handbags. In many ways this replaced the monogrammed luggage carried by
the Whitman Brothers across India on their shared journey of
self-discovery. It allowed me to become comfortable with the collection
and adopt the position of an observed, rather than a potential consumer.
One final thought
on the collection was the transformative nature of the humble beret and
accessories as a whole. Without them any echo of Suzy Bishop- possibly
Wes Anderson's finest troubled teenager would be all but lost (sorry Margot).
Suzy's mother Laura Bishop also made a cameo appearance in the Gucci
collection in the form of fashionable glasses, head scarf and the
dreamiest quilted satin coat imaginable. This outfit has been etched
into folklore as the "leaving your husband/ family outfit" and really
nothing could look more classy and yet cold-blooded. It is as iconic as
stills from Thelma & Louise and derivatives including but not
limited to Marge Simpson's friendship with Ruth Powers. This outfit is
typically worn by women portrayed as callous or with selfish motivations
which seem all the more jarring given how feminine and therefore
vulnerable their attire. Housewives are more powerful and influential
than many can imagine and it is for this very reason that they are
oppressed by the men who pretend to love them. And on that note, I'll leave you to ponder the universe.