We all know Milan as a fashion powerhouse city. Historic houses with exponential reach and influence such as Versace, Fendi and Moncler all hail from the city and form major focal points of the week’s schedule – but in recent years, perhaps none draw the same anticipation, reception and overall spectacle as Gucci.
From their ‘Exquisite Gucci’ show last year which took maximalism and added an adidas logo on to it, to their collaborations with Balenciaga and ongoing relationship with mega-star Harry Styles, there’s seldom been a month when Gucci wasn’t at the top of the global fashion conversation – and their latest show and collection just ensured that this is not going to change.
The build-up and marketing for the show saw a lot of twin imagery and conversation surrounding twins, leading to speculation that the show would be honing in on Geminis (continuing the astrological conversation that started with Gucci Cosmogonie earlier this year), or that we’d see some twin models take to the catwalk. Having seen various sets of twins floating around fashion month, this wasn’t that far out – but the reality was far more intense, and far more ingenious. Here’s some of the key takeaways from the show.
THE CASTING DIRECTOR KILLED IT
Finding sets of twins that can also walk for one of the world’s biggest brands is no mean feat – especially when multiplying that process by (roughly) 70. Presenting what turned out to be one of the most logistically impressive shows we’ve seen, the stream was intercut with footage from backstage, showing the meticulous routine the Gucci team had to make sure each twin-set went out on time and at the exact right moment, and their pride when seeing it play out successfully. Impressive, to say the least.
There was a lot of beautiful clothing and fashion on the runway today. However, one character which we didn’t expect to see popping up was Gizmo from Gremlins – peeking out of pockets, sitting atop thousand-euro bags, or screen printed onto a blue sweeping ball gown. Perhaps pointing to the childlike nature that sets of twins hand-in-hand seem to inspire anway, it was a seemingly random inclusion that may have been about setting a virality agenda – which I guess it achieved, as we write about it. We will say it did add to the whole Uncanny vibe, tbh.
CLOTHES, BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES
With the spectacle and thematic concerns of this show taking up the majority of our headspace (once we got our heads around it – but more on that later), it would’ve been easy to scrimp over the actual collection – which definitely deserves its own moment. We saw straight-jacket style tight tailored blazers give way to suspender-style strips, which were in turn attached to the ‘usual’ bottom suit trouser.
The collection gave us everything from magic Gucci maximalism (animal print opera gloves and royal purple silk frocks) to a masterclass on luxury lingerie, via a pair of monogrammed mesh briefs styled under a blazer. Tying things together (literally) was a shorn-off black satin tie, reminiscent of that specific school-uniform-DIY. Elsewhere, one look saw a hugely oversized workwear jacket in stiff fabric, complete with monogram oversized pockets and trim whose silhouette felt imposing, impactful and powerful.
FRINGING IS IN
Never one to dial down the glitz, Gucci’s accessory offering for SS23 largely held a common theme: fringing is most definitely in, darling. Trails of crystal / diamond / diamante jewels hung off of sunglasses, glasses, facial jewellery and longer-than-life earrings, elevating the already dynamic looks into the realm of glamour and excess. These will no doubt be everywhere come next season.
As we entered the space, the overwhelming sentiment was one of incredulity: the showspace was super small for a brand of Gucci’s size and usual scale – making guests feel even more special to be given a coveted seat. However, once the curtain (read: wall) lifted for the finale, things turned from shock to confusion, starting a thought process that looked something like ‘were we now looking into a giant mirror? Why couldn’t we see ourselves in the reflection? Are the models touching the mirror? …Ohhhhhh.’
Under the veil of the initial confusion as to what was actually happening was an important moment of reflection for attendees – holding a mirror (or not) up to the industry to ask what it means to be seeing but unseeing, clarity vs illusion. “It’s the deception of similitude” the show notes consolidated. “The effect is alienating and ambiguous. Almost a rift in the idea of identity, and then, the revelation”. And a revelation it was.
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