It’s become the cultural looking glass for the fashion industry- I speak of none other than Gucci under the direction of Alessandro Michele. Despite a seeming lack of interest on this blog, make no mistake I am absolutely obsessed with what a pair of rhinestone embezzled sunglasses can do to a look and how to best channel that energy within the scope of my own wardrobe. Make no mistake, accessories weren’t used as a cheap gimmick, but rather one of many layers, becoming an integral element of this maximalist collection. Whether it be a pink bow across the forehead, or a leather harness sporting studded shoulder pads, the accessories undoubtedly brought out the best in the outfits they were paired with.
Combined with miles of carpet, pink velvet, mirrors and a fine white smoke, imitating that from a cigarette there was a strange sense of history embedded in the collection. The taffeta cocktail dresses, with their ruching and florals harkened back to the 80’s, more precisely archival pieces from Ungaro. They were unexpectedly re-energized with a new wave energy, but there was also reference to the Renaissance. Before the show, Michele picked out one example of a glorious 5-inch wedge, made from black patent leather and sporting a black velvet upper, embroidered with a gold snake. He noted, “Prostitutes in Venice used to wear these”.
Love and lust was certainly a driving theme behind the collection, with Alessandro Michele’s personal devotion and adoration of Elton John driving the opening look for Spring 2017 featuring a tweed jacket, flares and extra-big 70’s sunglasses. Tavi Gevinson, who I still ardently admire has spoken openly about being a fangirl, including a talk given at the Melbourne Writers Festival and it almost becoming a religion. Although it does seem somewhat odd to refer to Michele as a fangirl, we can certainly draw parallels in the case of this collection.
Where there is love though, often there is heartbreak that follows. In a backstage preview, minutes before the show Alessandro said, “You know, when you are in love, in a nightclub, but you are not in the right place, the person is not there?”. Heartbroken, but all dressed up our Gucci girls and boys find themselves in a high-class pick-up joint, some over-dressed and others hooded figures, wearing rather Monk-like attire in the traditional Gucci colors. Fantasy and fashion all at once, Michele reminds us all why we love fashion and seek it out in its many shapes and forms in our day to day lives. It is the armor with which we protect ourselves with, but also the stuff of whim and fancy.