It’s not like Alessandro Michele really needs any help luring his customers in. But the Gucci creative director seems to have developed a new tactic. For the past few RTW seasons, he’s collaborated with artists — Jayde Fish for Spring 2017 and GucciGhost aka Trevor Andrew for Fall 2016. Prepare to see graffiti artist Coco Capitán‘s scratchy scripture everywhere, starting with an accompaniment to the show’s vinyl record invite: “What are we going to do with all this future?” The text was displayed on location at the Gucci hub in Milan as guests walked by to take their seats and later on the faces of umbrellas the models carried down the runway.
Michele’s devoted stars were all in attendance, from Salma Hayek and Charlotte Casiraghi to Hari Nef and Florence Welch. But on the catwalk, we saw a whole handful of fresh faces, surely thanks to the fashion house’s new relationship with Parks Liberi e Uguali, a nonprofit that assists companies in welcoming all ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. Michele convinced us of his commitment to diversity when choosing his models, which ranged in age and skin color. His clothes sent out the same message.
Looks were debuted in a glass-encased hallway that Michele referred to as “The Alchemist’s Garden: an Anti-Modern Laboratory.” The presentation might have been situated a bit far from the audience, but it wasn’t at all hard to see the colorful kimonos, dresses, and maxi skirts, which were all so decorated it was almost dizzying. Nevertheless, each outfit was more exciting than the one before: glitter tights, fanny packs, and snakeskin-lined suitcases, acting as accessories — along with the new three-bag connector, which swung vertically like those red hanging monkeys you used to string along.
By revealing his first unisex collection, Alessandro sent out the message that men’s fashion should be just as exciting as women’s. A lot of the pieces on the guys, like text-emblazoned or tiger-print sweaters, ’70s bell-bottom trousers, beaded flannels, track suits, and voluminous capes (we’re looking at you, Beyoncé) were appropriate for girls, too. The idea was driven home with a bedazzled face mask and a few full-body crystal suits, perhaps speaking to the fact that we are all humankind. At our core, we are very much alike.
Michele paid homage to the past too, planting a few vintage Gucci tees throughout the collection and wearing his own yellow version with a Yankee cap to take his bow. Of course, they all were signed with Coco Capitán’s words, a mixing of the old and the new. Michele numbered the stage with Oscar-worthy gowns, including one black-and-white design with pouf sleeves, and a dreamy Gucci bridal look that was covered in flowers from head to toe. There was a fringed moto jacket that belongs on Dakota Johnson or really, any rock n’ roll fan, proving that Gucci has come full circle — it is truly a brand for everyone.