Alessandro Michele’s return to the runway after two long years away at times echoed his very first collection for Gucci, shown in 2015. Then, he pushed gender fluidity into the mainstream fashion conversation with a men’s collection that borrowed freely from the language of womenswear. Now, he stages a men’s show right in the middle of women’s fashion week with a collection that places, at its front and centre, the classic suit. Over 84 looks, there were countless dashing iterations—though with Michele’s penchant for colour, texture, shine, and a good print clash, they weren’t always classic.
Some of those suits were deconstructed, with slices and panels cut out of them; but the most convincing were the more straightforward propositions: the double-breasted navy suit that opened the show—all mannish swagger but worn with prim, pointed pumps; the regal purple number worn with a crystal neckpiece; a bright red suit, its lapel trimmed with studs, worn with retro brown sneakers; a grey suit atop a sheer black asymmetrical bodysuit; a powder-blue set with white stripes running down on its sides.
There was a reason for those stripes popping up all over the collection. After last season’s blockbuster, Internet-breaking collaboration with Balenciaga, Michele has teamed up with Adidas. Gucci is not the first fashion house to collaborate with the sportswear superbrand, but this might just be the flashiest Adidas-fashion crossover yet. Michele literally mashed up the logos of both brands—and emblazoned it on everything from sneakers and bags to suit pockets, headbands and gloves. On some looks, the Adidas trefoil was multiplied—creating a new kind of monogram, almost.
This collision of sartorial and sportswear codes, of bourgeois Italian glamour with an energy that is truly of the streets, resulted in a some electrifying looks —jerseys elongated into sleek column dresses; or rendered in latex and worn with a corset that looked like it had been cut from Adidas sweatpants. Then there were those that was almost camp in their sensibility: an outfit composed of a faux mink coat, black leather skirt and black lace stocking was worn with an Adidas striped beret; or the Edwardian gown in white satin—the Gucci Adidas hybrid logo smack in the centre of the torso and the addition of the Adidas triple stripes evoking a pagan priestess in high-performance wear. Serena Williams, in the audience, would approve.