Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gucci // Spring 2016 //

He came. He saw. He conquered. Alessandro Michele’s creative director status at Gucci is a journey that begin in the 1990’s. He studied at the Academy of Costume & Fashion in Rome before becoming a senior accessories designer for Fendi. In 2002, he went to work for Gucci, then under the helm of Tom Ford. Working in the design studio, Michele was promoted to associate to Frida Giannini in 2011. Four years later and the rest is history. Michele reflects on the past a lot in his Gucci collections. For his Spring 2016 collection he was looking to the Renaissance and the 1970’s. The Renaissance was a revolutionary time for Italy. The 70’s on the other hand, socio-politically, weren’t exactly great, however, singer-songwriters blossomed in Italy during this time. The two eras combined made for an interesting collection. I say interesting because I don’t particularly think it was his strongest. Everything heretofore has improved on the previous collection. I think resort was better than this, but there was fascinating things on show here. 

The show was held at a former train station, Scalo Farini. A lavish carpet with floral motifs and a serpent print and printed seats were the setting for the show. It oozed grandiose and it’s hard not to love the richness of it all. Seven, almost eight, models occupied the runway at any one time. The collection was innocently sensual and appealed to every woman, young and old. Previous designers at Gucci targeted a specific customer, which for me was a woman between 30 and 50. It was too exclusive of a club. Michele defies that, especially in this collection with clothes that could cater for an 18-year-old to an 81-year-old. Whether she’s on the hunt for a floral-embroidered lemon skirt and cornflour blue blouse with a rose bolo tie, or a pixellated floral print micro-pleated dress, a woman of any age would look and feel great in. The same goes for the menswear. This isn’t just for a grown man. It’s great for an 18-year-old to an 81-year-old.
Madeleine de Scudéry’s Carte de Tendre inspired Michele. The map portrays the path towards love. Goodness, respect, accuracy, sensuality, probity, alacrity and sincerity all dot the map, which was emblazoned on one dress. The collection featured ample amount of the destinations along the love map. Michele was respectful to the inspiration, portraying it with sincerity and sensuality.   

The accessories of any collection are usually overlooked and shown in full in the showroom. The models on the runway were the showroom. I counted three rings on one hand. The shoes. There were lace-up Mary Jane’s, sky high platform heels, mules, heeled brogues. There were scarves, turbans and berets, fingerless gloves, bow ties. There is ample opportunity for the customer to buy into the brand. 

This enchanting array was made possible by the genius mind of Alessandro Michele. What he does for Italian fashion, most can't. He makes it interesting, intelligent and fun every time, without compromising any of those ingredients. He’s a rare visionary.
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