Remember the Exquisite Gucci show? Alessandro Michele’s blockbuster collection in Milan was an ode to maximalism, nostalgia and all things high-glamour-Gucci; but the main takeaway was its partnership with adidas. Following the logo-mania Gucciaga collection last year, this release saw Gucci tap adidas’ streetwear ethos and extensive sportswear reputation, to craft a crossover that gave functionality and playfulness, infused with a heavy dose of retro sportswear.
With the lines between work and leisure forever blended as a result of the last few years combined with fashion’s ongoing emphasis on performing nostalgia, retro sportswear becomes the perfect plinth on which Gucci’s focused vision can operate: building a kaleidoscopic vision that encompasses all.
The collection itself performs as well in the campaign imagery as in the show: the adidas trio of stripes runs down the arms of suits and across the middle of scuba-inspired swim hats, anchoring the collection in a central design motif. Here, the collection forged a stronger connection between the sportswear and luxury fashion spheres, whilst cementing Gucci’s position as the go-to for considered and well-executed collaborative projects in fashion.
In the accessories department, co-branded silk bandanas adorn even the most conservative tailoring looks that the Exquisite show had to offer, injecting a sense of playfulness and nostalgia into the normally rigid world of workwear. From the logo’d sports bag to the classically Gucci headbands, the collection’s accessories recall iconic pop-culture moments of the past. Think Madonna’s music videos, or the chokehold adidas headbands had on the 80s youth. Here, Gucci references the iconic sportswear styles of the 80s, showcasing a playful and nostalgic aesthetic.
Elsewhere, we see Gucci merge casual design codes with an updated futurism, in timeless tracksuit silhouettes. Coming in green, pinks and blues, the brands switch out their side panel detailing depending on the piece: adidas’ classic three stripes sit amongst Gucci’s red and green stripe lineage.
Breaking down Gucci’s rich historical design practice and reformulating it with adidas’ streetwear ethos is what this collection does best – presenting a collaborative collection that felt self-aware in its individual design codes, but confident enough to flout them, too.
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