If you were stalking the social feeds of the perpetually urbane last evening, you may have noticed the well-to-do and well-heeled all partying together in Florence. What preceded the all-night bacchanal was Gucci’s Cruise 2018 show. The brand’s status now means its shows are the hottest ticket at Fashion Week, but even its standalone events are cause for celebrity and celebration.
Unable to book the Parthenon in Athens for his extravagant showcase – proving there are occasional limits to the brand’s power – Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele turned his attention to Florence’s Palatine gallery of the Palazzo Pitti, and the region’s rich history of Renaissance thought and style.
Although embroidered snakes and rosettes, lavishly upholstered exteriors, and piles of accessories are by now brand signatures, Michele scaled back somewhat for Cruise 2018. This collection felt a little less cluttered and a little more streamlined, as in the case of a three-piece suit in coordinated jacquard, slim-fitting minis, kaftan-like disco dresses, and elegant cape-backed longline gowns. However, excess and the imagination are Michele’s bread-and-butter, so alongside his subtler selection of party-worthy clothes came louder pieces like a fur-trimmed cape with a fully-embroidered gold sequin exterior, logo track pants with the brand’s signature “G” set in rows like a Grecian frieze, wallpaper printed suits, and looks that featured a dizzying multiplicity of patterns.
How far is Michele going to take the parody, and will the Gucci bubble burst?
Michele also keeps his tongue firmly planted in his cheek by splashing misspelled “Guccy” logos on baggy tees, or slogans that read “Guccify Yourself”. That’s the kind of satirical, meta commentary that hipsters love, which underscores the nature of Gucci’s increasing popularity – it’s cool because it’s self-aware of its coolness. How far is Michele going to take the parody, and will the Gucci bubble burst? For now, he’s toeing the line.