I don’t know that I get what’s going on over at Gucci, it’s all a bit high concept for my puny brain. Really ugly/fabulous thrift store outfits that sell for tens of thousands of dollars? Don’t get me wrong, I’d wear every single one of the outfits below, I just get that I’m probably not the target market. It’s for billionaire 20-somethings who want to embarrass Mummy at lunch at The Colony.
Alessandro Michele is a showman nonpareil. And the show he put on today was harsh and destabilizing in the extreme, not unlike the world outside the Gucci hub.
Then there were the masks: Jason Voorhees masks, fetish store masks with 2-inch-long spikes, a stupendous brass eagle with talons clutching the jawline. At the press conference afterwards, Michele explained his fascination, saying, “A mask is hollow but also full.” It conceals and reveals; it’s a defense and a welcome sign; disorienting and its opposite. More subtle, but just as thought-provoking: the metal ear coverings. Hearing enhancing? Or hearing obliterating? The masks were runway artifice, not for sale, Michele said postshow—not with those 2-inch spikes.
Michele gave us plenty to mediate on, especially in the context of the recent blackface uproar surrounding a Gucci balaclava jumper with a cut-out mouth and red lips. Regarding the incident, Michele said, “This must be used to create something new; this will help us do things in a different way.”
The collection was as “full of little things” as always, many of them deeply personal—there’s comfort in the familiar, even for a guy as free associative as Michele. He emphasized the sober ’40s tailoring of his grandmother’s generation in jackets worn by men and women: shoulders sharp, waists nipped, and trouser legs full above ankles cinched with cord. Many of the pieces were unfinished, with basting stitches tracing seams or the outline of outsize lapels, and raw edges elsewhere. Pierrot collars, in contrast, seemed to speak of childhood whimsy and innocence, as did the nonsense words ice, lolly, and sucker that appeared throughout. Different identities to slip into and out of as easily as a woman changes her Gucci sneakers for mismatched gold and silver platforms. A few of the models carried trainers from the laces, like handbags.
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Check out the looks below