There are only a few brands that could shut down Hollywood Boulevard for a fashion show. And one of those brands is Gucci. Presenting its latest fashion show in the midst of the action, Gucci delivered Hollywood glamour, clashing colours and hi-shine silk for its Spring 2022 collection.
Opting out of a traditional show at Milan Fashion Week, this presentation outside of the scheduled fashion month was entitled the ‘Gucci Love Parade’, and featured a star-studded cast and audience. Walking the boulevard were Macaulay Culkin and Jared Leto (a house favourite), whilst Lizzo, Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish watched the show dripping head-to-toe in Gucci.
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The show is Gucci’s attempt to contribute to LA’s “rebirth post-pandemic” – highlighting the brand’s commitment to supporting and maintaining the city’s reputation – as well as contributing US $1million (£700,000) to charities in the area, including attendee Miley’s Happy Hippie Foundation. “Gucci is proud to highlight the intersection of creativity and culture within the City of Los Angeles… As part of Gucci’s Changemakers program, powered by Gucci Equilibrium, it will provide significant support to the Los Angeles and Hollywood communities through a donation to the city’s most critical needs: homelessness and mental health,” the Italian fashion house said in a statement. Here, Gucci demonstrated the potential for brands to put their money where their mouth is, by choosing to support the very aesthetic that the show capitalised on.
Gucci, under creative director Alessandro Michele, has enjoyed an established relationship with Hollywood, referencing the land of fame and glamour not only with the slew of celebrities in attendance, but with its previous ventures as well. The designer has been fascinated by Hollywood and celebrities, tapping Jared Leto and now Miley for perfume ads, collaborating with Elton John on a capsule collection, making Harry Styles and Billie Eilish house mavericks, and so on. Moreover, previous Gucci showings have utilised iconic Hollywood landmarks such as the famed hotel Chateau Marmont and even the Hollywood cemetery.
Showing this time at the esteemed TLC Chinese Theatre on the Boulevard was no different, but here the theme ran deeper than the glitzy outfits; with each look being given a different character on the runway. ‘Celebrity’ permeated the group of individuals, but also informed Gucci’s actual designs, curated through the brand’s choice of garments and accessories. In part, this obsession manifested in each look on the runway referencing a character. “I love costume directors who create different personalities,” Michele said at the time, noting how their storytelling ability has influenced his creative process.
The show opened with a cardigan sporting an oversized, turquoise fur collar, and the model adorned with silver cat-eye shadeads, clutching a bag à la the Queen of Hollywood herself, Paris Hilton. Subsequent early looks consisted of baby pink satin suits, paired with a glitzy tiara alongside hot pink gloves, oversized sunglasses and an immaculately tailored houndstooth suit. It gave prom king and queen wrapped into one look, almost destined to be snapped up by Harry Styles in the very near future.
As the prom night progressed, Michele played with texture to capture the essence of excess that comes hand-in-hand with the world of celebrity. A lavish fur coat was slung half-on a model’s shoulder, only partially covering the floor-length sequined gown underneath, and again held on by a hot pink silk glove. With the tiara still affixed, but this time at an angle, the impression was of the prom queen at the end of the night – leaving the venue, no longer immaculate, and (literally) making the street her catwalk.
In keeping with the themes of glamour and excess, there was no consistent colour palette: the collection was the antithesis of restricted. Mid-way through, a scarlett trailing tulle gowns created a larger than life silhouette, only to be followed by a nude mesh fitted slip, paired with turquoise mesh stockings. It was as if Michele was pushing the limits of excess and luxury in offering a traditionally glamorous gown, only to be snapped back to undergarments mere moments later.
Familiar house emblems were worked into the proceedings, too: monogrammed bags of every variety appeared alongside mesh ruffle necked tops, the classic green and red stripe, and the beloved house tweed. In its obsession with celebrity, though, was also a playful acknowledgement of the pilates driven, green-juice-drinking ‘LA celebrity’: Michele sent out a mini collection of spandex athleisure, intertwined under traditionally-Gucci blazers. Continuing the thread of playfulness, butt plug necklaces and anal bead handled bags were also sent down the runway: the house of Gucci served everything from Hollywood high-glam to LA nightlife, and why not.
This was a show that powerfully brought together themes of excess, celebrity and chaos, all with a decisively Gucci touch. As Louis Pisano encapsulated: “if there’s one thing Alessandro finna do it’s bring us drama, chaos and characters! And where better to do it than Hollywood… but not all drama is good drama, not all chaos is good chaos, and not all movie characters are good”. In the glittering lights of Hollywood Boulevard, Gucci served light and dark, glamour and drama.