Welcome to the new age of Gucci. Recently-appointed creative director Alessandro Michele has challenged the brand’s previous collections with designs envisaging romantic nostalgia, and in turn has redefined the Gucci philosophy. But this raises a key question: what is Gucci today?
By Jemma Walker
For the past month, the fashion world has been eagerly anticipating the debut womenswear collection from Alessandro Michele, the new creative head at Gucci, amid a fever of speculation concerning ‘androgynous connotations’ which has strongly divided opinions.
But the man himself seems unphased by all the fuss.
“What I am trying to do is to put something poetic into a powerful, iconic brand. I am really inspired by different time periods, and that’s something we are missing in fashion,” Michele says backstage after his debut show in Milan.
In truth, his AW15 collection continues the dream (element) associated with Gucci, but in a less extravagant manner. A Victorian-era nostalgia filters from London’s cobbled streets to the Milan catwalk with gentle, sheer night-dresses in blossom pink and forest green. The bygone romanticism continues with untouched loose locks and remembrances of spring touching all the pieces in a collection that conveys a wistful but pure emotion.
A clearly-defined ‘wearable notion’ hugged the designs, with foldmarks appearing in masculine trousers, further blurring the gender divide, but it also deepens a sense of realism that goes against Gucci’s previous clean, crisp approach.
Yet we quickly return from the wistful fantasy of delicately-embroidered birds with harsh, masculine suits and welcoming a full array of androgyny into a palette of autumnal tones.
So what is the result? Alessandro Michele’s new impression on the brand has entwined the womenswear and menswear collections, thereby opening the door to creative freedom and removing gender constraints. This collection redefines the usually sleek Gucci and introduces a new, alternative Gucci woman. A revoloution like this is just what the brand needs.