Inside Gucci’s Groundbreaking New Men’s Collection

main pictureGucci ExquisiteCourtesy of Gucci

For his last Gucci collection, Alessandro Michele sent a flip-book of the surreal game ‘Exquisite Corpse’ – which you might know as Picture Consequences, the board game where you draw a fragment of an image without seeing the other constituent parts. The random assembly of the resulting set can be fun, sometimes enlightening, always unexpected. It was an interesting hint for Michele to make between this game and the unforeseen juxtapositions that so often make up looks in his Gucci shows – the idea of ​​accident or chance is something he has always described as beautiful. He called this season ‘Exquisite Gucci’ – the last one was ‘Love Parade’, and they both sound much better than ‘Autumn/Winter’ or ‘Spring/Summer’. Befitting the new moniker, there was a sense of specialness, preciousness, permeating every garment on display.

That, however, didn’t mean they were ball gowns. “It’s a men’s collection during women’s fashion week,” Michele said during her post-show press conference. “My male world is very, very broad. Men opened a dialogue with a female world and I was thinking about whether to show it. And then he shrugged. “And women like men’s suits. Michele has always blurred the lines between genders – it is, strangely, an act that can still provoke even in 2022. And although Michele talked about menswear, he felt like he was using the term with a pinch Ironically — his suits, in bright colors, dazzling embroidery and, often, triple stripes in a new high-profile collaboration between Gucci and Adidas — were hardly masco townspeople. he said, “was to break some codes.”

The whole show took place in a mirrored box, which reflected, refracted and distorted Michele’s models like a kaleidoscope, or even a funhouse, the mirrored panels flexing and sending beams of light bouncing around the room. . “I use the magic mirror metaphor to address the spooky power of fashion,” Michele said — and, of course, fashion can easily transform. Basically, you can wear the clothes of another gender and “become” them, at least at that time. Michele was toying with those kinds of ideas. “Gucci Metamorfosi” was written on the backs of jackets, on tags attached to the wrists of others, and the collection – like this play by Exquisite Corpse – constantly juxtaposed and merged the unexpected. Adidas stripes smoothed over leather equestrian boots, or corseted evening dresses with puffed sleeves like echoes of history. The baseball caps were fused together, a brim on the front and back of the neck, and the Adidas trefoil perched above the word “Gucci”.

Alessandro Michele is fond of pop culture totems – his use of logos, slogans and imagery has always been striking, often taking them completely out of context, simply transforming them through their surroundings. It’s a classic surrealist game – the French surrealist André Breton often quoted a phrase, taken from the obscure work of the 19th century writer, the Comte de Lautréamont, as the founder of the doctrine of the movement – ​​”also beautiful as the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table. You get that kind of feeling with Michele’s use of icons, Mickey Mouse on a Gucci-G handbag, the house’s signature Jackie bag tram lines with another fashion house‘s logo. This kind of games is designed to intrigue, destabilize a little, to finally seduce.

Here, Michele has played with the elegance of sportswear – which might be a trivial expression, until you see it applied to a puffy evening dress and realize its true power. It’s also about mirroring and distorting the language of fashion, rules that are somehow always in place between what constitutes ‘streetwear’ and ‘luxury’. Again, this also reflects what people wear on a daily basis. “People want to engage with life,” Michele said. And his work reflects that – excuse the pun.

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