Please don’t expect Alessandro Michele to ever do minimalism on the runway. After 18 months into his gig as Gucci’s creative director, even those who don’t follow fashion —The New Yorker just dedicated nearly 7,000 words to him—now know that historic references, over-the-top details and styling and authentically subversive thinking are his thing.
Michele said that spring’s story revolved around “Phantasmagoria: a sequence of real or fictional images like those seen in a dream.” To wit, the runway showed modern women in suits and knit sweater-and-skirt combos or denim jackets with spiked shoulders. And then there were the Raphaelite-meets-Deco lace and tulle gowns, French Renaissance brocade looks, ’70s-style suits in garish-cool wallpaper florals and ’80s ruffled prom dresses—the kind you’d expect Caroline, Jake’s girlfriend in Sixteen Candles, to wear when she was a 30-something swilling cocktails.
Archival prints and silhouettes—the sweater vest and feminine day dress are always a winning pair—mixed with truly exaggerated colors and shapes. Gucci logo and loafer were turned on their sartorial heads, pumped up, messed with and recooked in a mad-hatter’s kitchen.
Michele is unafraid of going there, powering through taboos at the same speed he must go through sequins (over 250,000 of the mirrored kind detailed his runway). Where others paint furs and stick to a recognizable shape to justify both its price and ethical use, he paints his with a jellyfish motif and adds colorful tulle tentacles. Or he dresses his male and female models in the same feminine details. This isn’t tomboy chic. It’s hyper lady.
Right now is an exciting time to like fashion. There’s no one way of dressing—either minimal or decorative, disco or decorum. There’s space for both in a woman’s closet, even those who like to stick to a uniform (Gucci’s runaway hit fur-lined slippers attest to that). And for every season of modernist, spare, you can bet Michele will counter with a beautifully batty, proudly provocative, lavish argument.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US