Enter Alessandro Michele’s enchanted world
In barely 18 months, Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s impact on the storied Italian fashion house is difficult to overstate. His latest collection, which kicked off Milan Fashion Week SS17 yesterday, is called Magic Lanterns and was inspired by a lavish Hollywood party. All of the designer’s usual hallmarks were in place – Italiano Eccentrico, romanticism, vintage-inspired shilouettes and bold maximalism – however this season they came with a subversive edge.
Pretty Gucci sequin dresses were styled with leather studded, fingerless gloves and punky stacked platforms. Michele set out his intention ‘to fertilize new meanings and cultivate the unexpected’ in his show notes. This is everything you need to know about the show everyone’s talking about…
The venue was a pink, smoke-filled boudoir
The venue (the Ex Scalo Farini) was a juggernaut of smoke, mirrors and sequins. The room was filled with over 250,000-mirrored sequins that lined a curved runway marked, by the Gucci stripes and stars. Dim, pink bulbs cast a rosy glow on the front row was made up of plush velvet ottomans. Plumes of smoke filled the room and the models emerged from a 70s-esque beaded doorway.
Florence Welch lulled guests into a group meditation
As the fashion editors, celebrities (including Dakota Johnson, Serena Williams and Gucci ‘It’ girl Soko) and fans of the brand filed in, Florence’s soothing voice lulled them to ‘release the tension’ before the show began. She then read the work of English poet William Blake, to a soundtrack of Armand Amar’s orchestral La Traversée.
Welcome to the ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery’
Past Gucci shows have had a striking, Wes Anderson prettiness, but this season’s production looked as though it was shot through Tim Burton’s gothic glamour lens. Several looks were scrawled with the words ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery’ in an inky script, and the models had ethereal, hauntingly beautiful Bride Corpse-esque stares, their faces framed by fluffy sculptural perms or ornate headwear.
All the clothes tell a story steeped in wonder
The show notes declared it storytime: ‘The narrative principle is non-linear; it is made of ruptures, digs, leaps, cross-references and unpredictable connections.’ As the storyteller, Michele chose logos to relay his brilliantly unpredictable story. The collection was dotted with cryptic scripts, and where last season he enlisted graffiti artist Trouble Andrew, this seaosn he collaborated with the San Francisco-based illustrator Jayde Fish (whom he discovered on Instagram) to create the artwork for some pieces. One particularly gorgeous black and peach pleated tulle embroidered gown was accessorised by a crystal ‘Loved’ handpiece.
It was a riot of print, colour and texture
‘Colour is the soul of fashion, if you change the colour of a dress, you change the dress,’ according to Michele (via Gucci). ‘Colour and dimension transform it into an illusion.’ From purple sequin leggings, to acid green silk skirts, Gucci SS17 left no pantone unturned.
It was bigger, bolder and absolutely brilliant
Our love for Michele’s flamboyantly tailored, Seventies-style wares shows no sign of abating. The designer’s impact on the highstreet is palpable – from the ubiquitous pleated metallic skirts and floral pussy bow blouses to the fluffy loafers – and next season’s future heroes were all there amid the madcap proceedings.
Gucci will certainly be a very tough act to follow over the next five days.