It began with a crimson-lit room that flashed like Zeus’s lightning bolts into shades of porcelain white; ridged steely gates cranked ajar; and 21 models wearing straitjackets emerged from behind the runway, proceeding in linear form down the catwalk. It was a polar, almost clinical white wash on a floor of watery jade green. Then, without warning, the lights went out and it was suddenly over…
Onlookers waited in bemusement…
And then the true show commenced.
Slate cleaned, with palette dominant of ebony, splashed with lambent hues of teal and lapis lazuli, dusted rose and verdant greens. In this collection, there was a near absence of print also, which is a rarity comparative to previous collections. Take a glimpse to look 4, where an almost Egyptian gown graces the runway, with true turquoise contrasted against a rich and dewy gold… were only moments before look 1 opened the show with a sheer, bell-sleeved, kinky noir en noir pantsuit; the only pop of colour being that of a pair of devilish fishnet red socks. This array of opaque and graphic colour-blocking evoked an essence of the brand’s ’70s heyday and Tom Ford’s ’90s reinterpretations of the same, thus creating a flashback to the bequeathal of the brand that we cannot easily forget.
Sensuality and sexuality exuded from every model that graced the catwalk, with riding crops (a reference to S&M and to the house’s equestrian heritage) accessorised with straw mouse bags, lace-inset slip dresses, and black vinyl chokers put the finishing touch on scoop-neck leotards and high-slit midi skirts. Look 10 and 13 harmonised true feminine charm and elegance, from baby to ballerina pink against silken seashell tones, with a sharp cut of jet black elbow heightened gloves.
With a grand total of 110 looks, the palette remained relatively unchanged; the combination of colours simply altering from look to look. Gucci wouldn’t be Gucci without some print: geometrically encased seashells from look 75, and white dots printed upon a leafy Persian jade tone being the dominant feature to be seen (look 74).
It goes without saying, that Michele’s has a God given gift for the things that grab the eye... let’s call him the magpie of the luxury fashion cosmos. With this collection, his attention drifted from surface details to silhouettes - which is a far more ambitious project, because it’s more subtle. It is this man who is working to convert a generation to a what’s-old-is-new-again brand of elegance. In fact, I’d go as far to say that Michele is among the most influential forces in fashion—if not the most influential force. He’s created maximalists out of former minimalists and turned the world back on to the train tracks of vintage; cascading cacophonous harmonies of colour and print, logos, glitter, and gender fluidity most of all.
These days Gucci is an adjective and even 11-year-olds recognise the green-red-green stripe when they see it on people in the street. The resulting rise in Gucci’s fortunes has been nothing short of staggering, but numbers don’t go up forever. And even a look as eclectic as the one Michele formulated for the brand becomes a uniform after a while. Which is why we welcome the latest Spring RTW 2020 collection: subdued? Far from it. But metamorphisized into something subtly flirtatious and no-so-totally-toned-down-titillating? Completely.
You can see the entire fashion show here on the official GUCCI YouTube channel
Written by Darcy Bucci Chola Keverian @buccichola