Heidegger’s thoughts on authenticity, Camus’ writings on the nature of rising up, 17th-century cartography and the stage put on of Elton John – the catwalk display that opened Milan fashion week did no longer comply with a formulation smacking of apparent business success. But this is Gucci, in which the fashion designer Alessandro Michele’s avant-garde technique to luxury has confounded the enterprise.
The style house’s monetary outcomes, released this summer,
confirmed an exceptional forty-three.4% sales growth. Even extra putting is that Gucci, whose catwalk set mapped the Roman web page of Horace’s Villa and whose display notes touched on put up-structuralism, is loved through a younger era most fellow historical past brands struggle to hook up with: half of-ofl Gucci customers have been born after 1980.
Model Fumi Nikaido at the Gucci show in Milan
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Model Fumi Nikaido on the Gucci display in Milan.
Michele is the maximum successful fashion dressmaker
of this decade despite – or perhaps because of – not seeming in particular interested by clothes. In a 25-minute pre-display briefing for editors, held inside the grandly modernist Milan palazzo Gucci built for its golden boy, Michele did now not point out an unmarried garment.
“Sometimes I suppose, it would be less complicated if I should just make a few lovely shoes for the shop. But no, I want to change the aesthetic of this complete organization and that way I can change what style is. I need to make matters that create opportunity, that make an opportunity for the world to change and to grow,” he stated.
Diversity and authenticity are recurrent issues. “I am seeking to push the idea of fashion, and to smash the antique codes of fashion,” said Michele, who became carrying a heavily embroidered jacket that an hour later featured at the catwalk worn by way of a girl version.
“Fashion is trying to show keep alive codes which might fashion be from the age of the New Look, channels of Mr. Dior. The old manner of thinking that is going, ‘the new season is blue’ or ‘the brand new ballerina appearance’, I am now not interested in that. And while the casting human beings say to me about a model, ‘she is lovely, she is a brand new face, she has lovely legs’ – I don’t care about that in any respect. I care about the manner the lady is romantic, the manner she sees the arena, now not that she seems a positive way. I want to inform memories so I think in a cinematic way.”
A model affords an advent by way of Gucci on the Milan show on Wednesday.
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A model offers an introduction by way of Gucci on the Milan show. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Michele’s Gucci, steeped in Medici symbolism and Renaissance silhouettes when it burst directly to the catwalk at the beginning of 2015, ultimate year shifted towards disco and from there toward hip-hop, with many an attention-grabbing purple herring – which includes a fur-lined loafer – alongside the way.
This season the classy took a flip closer to glam rock, with garments stimulated by means of Elton John’s stage outfits. Tour jackets, excessive-waisted jumpsuits, and energy-shouldered blazers have been worn by way of male models dripping in jewelry and girl models whose crispy fringes resembled Renate Blauel, whom Elton John married on Valentine’s Day 1984.
But for all its modern speak, Gucci’s success is constructed
on an identity that stays in large part solid from season to season. Its fanatics can pay elevated fees because through rejecting the fashion cycle, Michele sells pieces with an extended shelf existence, closing recognizably Gucci for multiple seasons.
All the key elements of the Gucci aesthetic – slick 1970s sports wear, drugstore barrettes, shrunken trouser-suits, rainbow stripes, geek-sublime glasses, obtuse slogans, backless footwear, a positive vintage lady-ish silhouette of a fur coat over a long dress, Disney references, pearls – had been in full impact.
How Gucci turns this arthouse script into container workplace gold became hinted at with the invitation to the show. Each guest received an ornate pharmacy tin inscribed “GUCCI” containing candles, fits, scented paper and silk thread. “The display is a spell I solid on you,” explained the dressmaker. “Like a wizard.”