Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Gucci

When Alessandro Michele took over as Creative Director at Gucci in January 2015, he turned the steering wheel of the house in a totally new and shocking direction. Despite the fact that he has worked for Gucci since 2002, hired by Tom Ford and then later serving as assistant to former Creative Director Frida Giannini, he broke with the aesthetic lineage of the house which was a kind of louche, 70s, jet-set, Studio 54 sort of luxury: sleek, sexual, yet based on tradition. One wonders if Michele had been planning his stylistic 180 the whole time. What on earth possessed him to dump the cocaine-private jet-Paris-New York vibe for an arty, loose, gender-bending collection (seen first here ) and then an eclectic, bohemian (and still quite feminine) collection (here)? Both collections still referenced the 70s so there is that...but still. He did however say, "The ’70s is the most powerful image, for me, for the brand," but whose 70s...which 70s?

So for his Gucci FW '16-'17 collection at Milano Moda Uomo, he is still wandering through a style decade that he is barely old enough to remember (he was born in 1972 in Rome). Images of Snoopy and Woodstock on tee-shirts peek out from under 70s mod patterned jackets (for those of us who do remember, The Peanuts were certainly up there in terms of pop culture icons, no mistake). And we still have some pieces that look as if they came from the closet of a French grandmother in 1974 (ya gotta love the red crocheted poncho over a plaid trench coat). But instead of the pussy bow blouses and lacey tops, Michele has injected a bit of world style into this collection with Asian motifs...the lucky Chinese dragon rears up on coats, jackets, hats, and day pajamas (which have been cropping up in many designer's collections this season). It seems that he set the house on course for a different direction last year, and now with that settled he can play with variations on a theme...he seems pretty fearless so far so it will be interesting to see where he takes the brand.

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