New York is a popular destination for Cruise shows but it came as a surprise when Italian brand Gucci chose the city to host its 2016 collection. The show, which was held yesterday, was a watershed moment for the house, which honestly has been struggling to find its identity for a while. A beacon of hope emerged in January when the relatively unknown Alessandro Michele was appointed as its new creative director with the mission to make Gucci relevant again.
Although Michele has put together two collections already – one was completed in five days and the other within a month – Cruise was the perfect opportunity to really hone in on his new vision. As such all the details had to be perfect from the urban location (a warehouse in the middle of Chelsea covered in vintage Persian rugs) to the intimate seating and show choreography (models walked into the venue directly from the street outside). Then there is the new vintage rose print which will cover Gucci’s packaging.
That being said the most important part of any fashion renaissance is the clothes and today Michele gave us a beautifully eclectic collection that showed much promise. Inspired by “freedom” he sent out 62 looks that couldn’t be further from the glamour pusses of Gucci’s past. Instead it was a celebration of individualism with a myriad of styles that were part romantic/part kitsch/ part vintage but imbued with an air of sophistication.
Vintage relics like fur coats, chevron striped and lace dresses (mini and long) came covered in intarsias or embellished with dragon flies to make them modern again. There was plenty of romance in the ruffled sheer tops, tiered skirts and floaty printed dresses that could easily have been taken from your grandmother’s wardrobe. This was tamed with men’s wear inspired tailored suits that are louche and effortless. Tying it all together was a riot of colours that clashed in unexpected ways.
He also played with Gucci classics such as the red and green stripe which appeared on the hem of a silver leather bomber jacket or on the neckline of a chic white crochet dress. The word GUCCI came embossed on structured leather totes modeled on shopping bags, while the Gucci lion covers bag clasps. Every editor was fawning over the glittery gold pumps and metallic mules (no doubt they will be more wearable than autumn’s hairy versions).
The accessories finished off each look perfectly from the hipster beanies and oversized glasses to the floral corsages and stacks of rings piled onto fingers.
At a time when many designers are obsessed with being safe and commercial it was refreshing to see Michele to go outside the box and propose a fun way of dressing with no rules – what could be more modern than that?