During Milan Fashion Week, the House presented Exquisite Gucci, Alessandro Michele’s latest collection and an exploration of the phantasmagorical power of fashion presented through the reflections of magical mirrors.
In his notes on the show, Alessandro Michele spoke of the “stifling perspective” of seeing things exactly as they are and thus ensured his latest collection was seen exactly as it wasn’t. Walls and pillars in the middle of the room were covered in illusionistic mirrors, creating dizziness and wonder while celebrating metamorphosis, “where the playful mechanics of refractions shatter every spatial limit and pave the way for escape.”
Each of Alessandro Michele’s collections is a riff on refraction, presenting his kaleidoscopic view of the world at large and of more specific themes like masculinity, which took center stage during a Milan Fashion Week centered around femininity. The suit was treated as a sartorial prompt – how many variations can there be? Let us count the ways. From paradigmatic to proportionately playful; cropped or with contrast cuffs; with too few buttons or too many buttons; no lapels, faux lapels; and many times, styled in a way that fosters the burgeoning Gucci aesthetic of Tailored Streetwear.
Clothes themselves are a reflection of our image and wearing them “means to cross a transformative threshold where we become something else; it means to be able to enhance and articulate in a different way our identity and our exhibiting potential.” As with Exquisite Corpse, the inspiration for the invite and a game that gained popularity among Surrealist artists who used it to generate collaborative compositions, Alessandro Michele infused myriad codes into the Exquisite Gucci collection, including those of adidas. Many pieces were embellished with a specially created logo or the ubiquitous three stripes, seen on a range of items from classic suit jackets to sportier styles like the Gazelle sneaker.
This openness to the mixing and matching of codes is a testament to the fluidity that has distinguished the House’s collections over the past seven years, ever enriching and expanding the lexicon of Gucci, an aesthetic universal that always endeavors to speak a language that anyone and everyone may understand.