Ouverture Of Something That Never Ended. Gucci SS21

COVID-19 made fashion rethink many matters, from fashion week schedules to overproduction, but most of all, it accelarated the reflection on how to show a collection to wide audience, through the digital media, in the most appealing ways. Most of brands come up with a video or film. But the latest example takes notes from Netflix. Gucci‘s Alessandro Michele hired the one and only Gus Van Sant to make seven-episode miniseries that were shown one by one, for the entire week. At moments, the experience was bumpy. The poll I’ve made on Instagram mid-week suggested that 75% no longer paid attention to the digital Gucci event. While the visuals of Ouverture Of Something That Never Ended were striking, Silvia Calderoni’s acting was phenomenal and Gucci celebs appearances were amusingly witty (Harry Styles made a cameo wearing a pink tee tucked into denim shorts, and pronounced his improvised modern-day art manifesto: “when it comes to making art it’s about finding the thing you’ve always wanted to see that has never been made. It’s always an uncomfortable moment, I think, when you find the thing. You don’t know if you love it or hate it because you don’t really know what it is yet. But I think that’s the most exciting place to work in“; Florence Welch glided through a Gucci-fied vintage store and slipped handwritten notes into the pockets of jeans or the purse of a passerby; Billie Eilish performed her new song and danced with her pet robot dogs in what looked like the suburbs of L.A.), the focus on the clothes was hard to comprehend. Fashion films are pretty much always product-driven and lack substance, and here it was quite the opposite. There was plenty of substance, but I felt there was not enough of the collection itself. Maybe, as some editors suggested, the episodes could be shoppable? It would be great to find that golden balance. The miniseries streamed on Instagram and on a dedicated site dubbed GucciFest, where the brand also supported videos made by 15 emerging designers from around the world – which was a lovely gesture. Once you finally look at the look-book to see the actual spring-summer 2021 (and pre-fall 2021) clothes, you will be surprised (or not so much) that Michele decided to utterly focus on the core of his Gucci. The 90 looks saw some most distinct signatures, as well as Alessandro’s archives (especially pieces from his first Gucci collections). There was pretty much nothing new, and the collection was free of bizarre over-the-topness that made the label feel just too much for me in the pre-pandemic times. So, the brand’s customer will be pleased with all the vintage-y, wearable styles that are just the right amount of quirk, while the rest of the audience might use the line-up as an inspiration-filled portfolio. It seems to say: “shop your closet, no need to buy new stuff“.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Different Love. Gucci SS17

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Glittering with over 250,000 mirrored sequins, the all-pink venue of Gucci spring-summer 2017 collection reminded a high-profile striptease club. The released mist reassembled cigarette smoke, while the velvet stools and sofas suggested one thing – Alessandro Michele is not a step closer to such thing as “minimalism” this season. Indeed, the collection had something to do with trashy chic – just have a look at the extremely platformed footwear. “Prostitute in Venice used to wear these“, the designer said backstage, while discussing his references and inspirations. Red latex tights, worn casually with knitted skirts, screamed “sex”, too. Alessandro’s mind is not that innocent, after all.

There are different types of “love”, and there is a variety of romantic accents in Michele’s kitsch-appealing clothing. As always, the outing featured a line of polished and refined ready-to-wear, which has a lot to do with alta moda, as the Italians tend to say. Knitted cardigan featuring a monkey embroidery illustrated by artist Jayde Fish; satin gown with pineapple style sleeves, detailed with sequins and intricate embellishments; tulle dress with tapestry-like florals and a leather corset. Each piece might become a go-to for a fancy date, a boudoir night or an intoxicating night-clubbing. Michele never keeps himself distant from emotions in his fashion. This collection is connected to the intense topic of love, even if we mean a wounded, broken heart. One of the evening dresses had an embroidered, red heart in the front, stabbed with a dagger – is the ethereal woman wearing it ready for a night out, but without her parter? She’s sad, but she looks spectacular and very dramatic. A bamboo fan is even more ambiguous. The slogan on it stated “Blind for love” in gothic font, and Alessandro definitely relates to that as a designer searching for beauty, and a person in real life.

P.S. In the show’s soundtrack, Florence Welch read William Blake’s poems. Dreamy.

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