A storied fashion house shares many similarities with a historic concert venue, reflecting change in culture and taste over time. Back in the day, the concert hall might have hosted Enrico Caruso before an audience of high society, while in the 1980s, Duran Duran would have headlined to a room full of fashion claqueurs and self-important executives. Gucci has been around since 1921, and like our nameless legendary venue, it has seen its fair share of “acts” onstage. Every Creative Director that has ever helmed the brand left an indelible impression, which brings us to the present day where Alessandro Michele is steadily reprogramming the Gucci aesthetic.
For Spring/Summer 2016, the hipsterfication of Gucci continues, as Michele responds to the social media-driven zeitgeist with a collection that defines a new era of millennial fashion. The enviable wardrobe at Gucci begins with lace sheaths and printed peasant dresses paired with colorful shoes and a seriously memorable array of accessories. Clearly, the new Gucci line-up is aware of its own inherent cool factor. Next, Michele gets imaginative with pattern-mixing, and showcases an eccentric dress that would have been dowdy if it wasn’t for its insanely colorful and prismatic exterior. The schizophrenic range of looks on Gucci’s runway aptly reflected the polymathic taste of the millennial. There were glittering Lurex knits transformed into trompe l’oeil party frocks, French boarding-school separates, and cropped brocade suiting in shocking shades of lemon yellow or cerulean. Dig deeper into the collection and looks begin to resemble rare vintage finds, but their lavishly appointed surfaces give away the fact that they are fully realized contemporary creations. An esoteric parade of crocheted dresses, schoolmarm separates, vivid silk suits, and lavishly embroidered Renaissance gowns cast a hallucinatory spell, which was reinforced by an idiosyncratic mixture of bugs, birds, and snakes that crept, soared, and slithered across the collection’s collage-like surfaces.
From the looks of things, the new Gucci girl has a well-developed eye for style, an assortment of vintage synthesizers and DIY theremins, and a cat that has its own Instagram. She’s the kind of person who writes, produces, and records her own album in her bedroom, launches the project on Soundcloud, and ends up touring with The Flaming Lips. It’s safe to say Gucci has never courted this kind of person before, but under Michele’s direction the times certainly have changed.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree