It’d be a gross understatement to say that Alessandro Michele’s new vision of Gucci has brought renewed energy to the once floundering luxury behemoth. Michele is on the tips of everyone’s tongues these days, and the menswear circuit was abuzz with excitement in the lead up to his FW16 show.
Michele certainly didn’t disappoint. The brand’s former head of accessories transformed a disused railway warehouse into an opulent Roman boudoir – there was red velvet everywhere, while the show’s attendees were perched on ornate, gilded sofas and dining chairs. Michele then released a barrage of the sort of whimsical, flamboyant, gender-vague clothing that has captivated the fashion scene since he took over.
A total of sixty looks were shown, and every one of them was a visual onslaught in its own right. Lavish embroideries, dazzling patterns, graphics depicting snoopy, jacquard florals, teddy bear motifs, snakeskin suiting – I could go on, but you’re probably better feasting your eyes on the gallery below.
While Michele’s skill as a showstopper is undeniable, quite how his dreamy, surreal aesthetic will fare when it hits stores is another matter entirely. Gucci is a very, very large brand – by far the biggest in the Kering family – and its traditional clientele is not the sort that’s willing to indulge in a bit of asexual peacocking.
No doubt this torrent of eccentricity will have a knock-on effect for the rest of the fashion world – at both high and low ends – which is no bad thing at all. Given the tedious monochromatism that’s dominated fashion of late, maybe a bit of flair and whimsy is exactly what we need.