Ding dong! On Gucci day virtual show-goers were woken up with a special delivery. The house sent a crate of organic veg first thing, to get the fashion pack in the mood (make ours a fennel spritz, shaken not stirred). The wholesome treat was just one aspect of a multifaceted multi-platform, multi-layered, day-long Gucci experience that included a special Spotify playlist of songs and an epic 12-hour live stream. The #GucciEpilogue visual festival began at 7am. It showed the prep for an Alec Soth campaign shoot, in and around the ornate Renaissance Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome. Like fashion peeping toms, the at-home audience saw Gucci’s backstage crew in PPE, fussing over models, moving furniture, setting up shots. Then at 1pm Alessandro Michele interrupted the live transmission to showcase his latest Gucci collection. The twist? It was worn by the people who designed it.
Sabrina in snazzy snakeskin boots, Alfredo in a gorgeous headscarf and an orange lip, Min in a beautiful beaded floral jacket, Alice in a geometric patterned skirt, David in logo flares, Michael with a Jackie bag (why did he only paint three of his fingernails, Scarlett?). We saw Gucci’s diverse design team in all their eccentric glory (you don’t have to be eclectic to work here, but it helps). “We have turned everything inside out and we have pulled out the entrails of fashion,” said Michele referring to his creative and questioning response to the chaos wreaked by the pandemic. When Michele and the team began work on this collection, it was for the cancelled Cruise show in May. The pandemic forced a rethink coupled with a desire to change the pace of fashion. Gucci’s multiple shows were abandoned in favour of a new model. Starting today, Michele and Gucci will only put on two co-ed shows a year. Supersized specs, sharp boaters, flamboyant flares, intense geometric. As always, there was a lot to take in, including four fresh Gucci collaborations.
Disney‘s Donald Duck swung from necklaces, Japanese anime character Doraemon appeared on shopper bags and Liberty prints were scattered throughout. But it was the collaboration the Ken Scott archive that set the tone for this collection. Michele reproduced the wild, colourful creations of the cult American designer, who’s vivid patterns shaped Italian glamour in the 1960s and 1970s. After Michele’s show and tell, the live feed panned back to Alec Soth’s campaign shoot. The photographer provided the most memorable quote of the day when he talked about the “energy of contradiction” in both his own and Michele’s work. That atom-splitting Gucci energy, which opened up fashion to new audiences, ideas and aesthetics still has plenty of momentum.
by Claudia Croft