After reading Susannah Frankel’s massive feature on Alessandro Michele in the latest issue of Another, there’s no wonder why Gucci‘s creative director is… the way he is. His mother worked in film industry and was the 50s, Hollywood loving female; his father was a free-spirited, as Michele says, shaman. Such clash of identities had to result in a single mind, as wildly creative as of Alessandro. The autumn-winter 2018 collection is an overdrive of explosive surprises, that convey a message: we all have an identity, whether formed by our surroundings, culture or interests.
The venue looked like a cosmic surgery room, with an operation table standing in the middle. Was it a metaphor that Dr. Alessandro (and Gucci) are here to shape your, who knows, expression? If yes, then it’s quite a struggle to decide which aspect of the collection should we start with. Maybe the models, who carried their heads (!), snakes and baby dragons? Make-up – if you still can call it that shallow way – that consisted of Frida Kahlo uni-brows and cyclop eyes? Or even Pussy Riot balaclavas, manga-inspired prints and velvet burqas? Still, the collection was not only true to Alessandro’s extremely eclectic style, but his Gucci-fiyed reality. Gucci logo is everywhere, from the silk scarf tops to the buttons a tweed jacket. Welcome to the Gucci ‘pluriverse’, where there’s no place for trends, conformity or lethal routine.
Some young designers appear on everyone’s lips thanks to their strikingly unique talent. Some luckily get to the mainstream by dressing a celeb, or rather an Insta-girl. Meanwhile, Richard Quinn‘s phenomenon got elevated through an exceptional combination: the guy has the talent. And, the guy had Queen Elisabeth II in his show’s f-row. I suppose the biggest names in the industry would be life-fulfilled after such an honour. For Richard, it’s just the beginning.
Quinn is the first recipient of Her Majesty’s British Design Award that is here to raise and support UK’s emerging fashion stars. With his knack for collage-ing and manufacturing prints in the most fantastic ways, there’s no wonder why the designer won. “It all feels a bit surreal,” Quinn exclaimed backstage of the show. “I only found out a few days ago that I’d won. When I saw the blue cushion on the front row, I knew it was real; I knew she was coming.” The emphasis that Richard puts on prints and patterns is impressive not only because he does wonderful ball gowns with a modern twist or floral-shocker puffas. It’s the sense of unity he builds among young designers and fashion students in London with his print studio in Peckham – it’s there, where he shares and lets for an open-access to printwork. And who would have thought that he has graduated with a master’s from Central Saint Martins just a few years ago? A bright, bright way future is there for Quinn, I believe.