It’s a new dawn at Gucci. With the unexpected appointment of Alessandro Michele as creative director early last year, the Italian uber-brand’s collections have spawned one surprise after another. In place of the polished, controlled understatement of the Frida Giannini years, Michele’s Gucci takes us on an exhilarating high-fashion vintage market tour, with bursts of pattern and colour.
His debut for Gucci, the Autumn Winter 2015 womenswear collection, provided a glorious taster for this new era. The inspiration came from Michele’s own wardrobe, where he pulled treasured vintage items and antique textiles to design eclectically mismatched separates and quirky accessories. In Michele’s new vision for Gucci, floral print trouser suits met Lurex skirts, and pussy bow shirts mingled with rabbit coats. But despite all the kookiness, it is the unparalleled craftsmanship – almost couture like in its meticulous detailing and tailoring – that makes his collections truly shine.
Reverberating with a warm romanticism, “Carte de Tendre” (“the map of the land of tenderness”) was the apt name of Michele’s Spring 2016 offering. Trompe l’oeil ruffles, flared trousers and floral prints accented the 70s-influenced collection. It may have stemmed from nostalgia but through the imaginative Michele touch, the looks were thoroughly modern and covetable for today.
Buzz-worthy accessories add another dimension to the new Gucci allure. Who can forget the kangaroo fur-lined Princetown loafer, first shown during the Autumn Winter 2015 show? Or even the furry slippers covered in genuine goat hair? Whether it’s brocade turbans, nerd-chic tortoise shell glasses or beanie hats, the clever details accentuate Michele’s magpie approach to the fabled brand. His daredevil vision for Gucci has shaken up the fashion world and we can’t wait for more.