“I like popular culture and this is the reason why I like the Renaissance because it is super pop,” said Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele of the Italian label’s Cruise 2018 collection. But the Roman designer also admitted that his interest in Greek cultures had initially prompted the idea of staging the fashion show at the Parthenon in Athens.
“Everything started in the Mediterranean, but we couldn’t have Athens, so I went to the next big step in civilization, the Renaissance…,” Michele offered.
The spirit of Michele’s Renaissance eventually unfolded as a 100-exit fashion lineup, which the 96-year old Florentine company presented in an equally impressive and historical location — Florence’s Palazzo Pitti. Guests were required to walk through the city’s famed Uffizi Gallery, past the 127 self-portraits of 20th century Italian and foreign artists hanging along the walls of the Vasari Corridor (built by the Medici family in 1565), before settling down in the Palatine gallery where the show took place.
Guccifiy fashion’s cool kids
Excess and extravagance is di rigueur in achieving Michele’s brand of the weird and wonderful. Think a quirky cast of bespectacled boys and girls dressed in head-to-toe English or Japanese florals, or, the dandy peacock styles reminiscent of Sixties and Seventies tailoring.
Then, there’s that vintage granny chic, which is — but, of course — a Michele prerequisite that complements the trimmings of trinkets and baubles galore. Or, for that matter, Seventies-inspired sportswear, otherwise known these days as a Gucci perennial, which Michele translates with chutzpah and an eccentricity that puts even fictional characters Richie and Chas Tenenbaum to shame.
Michele cited the City of Angels as a key reference for pulling together his Renaissance-glam repertoire. “My mind was completely in LA,” mused the 45-year old designer who’s also a fan of street style. From boyfriend-style cuffed jeans to studded leather separates, embroidered lumberjack shirts and embroidered bomber or denim jackets; the LA-cool narrative was also conveyed via a range of tongue-in-cheek slogan T-shirts and tank tops.
Emblazoned with the buzzwords “Guccification”, “Guccify Yourself”, or just “Guccy” (inspired by the Medieval spelling of the Italian label), these catchy proclamations resonated a new fashion order, otherwise known in Michele’s Gucci universe as a flamboyant form of self-expression.
Michele’s evening looks referenced his Renaissance storyboard more closely and saw costume-y renditions of 14/15th century-inspired caped gowns imbued with sequinned embroidery and gilded threads. Glitz and glamour were not lost on any of the menswear looks either as sparkly sweatshirts and flashy pant suits proved to be the pieces perfect for any dandy with an Eighties New Romantics attitude to simply Guccify himself.
Images courtesy of Gucci