Models carrying their own heads, clashing of colour schemes, themes and cultures. It’s fair to say that the Gucci AW18 collection was one of the most interesting shows of the season. Visionary, designer and creative director of the brand, Alessandro Michele is key to understanding why exactly this show and season in particular was so eclectic. In an interview with Vogue, Michele stated the friction he faces with being in such a restricted, rigid and fast-paced fashion industry – “It’s been hard for me from the beginning but now it’s really hard, because I think that fashion is the only language that wants to keep the old rules and expect something that doesn’t work for me and my ideas of fashion”. He adds, “When you watch the show you can see what I’m trying to do: I want to stay in my aesthetic. I don’t want to run because I know the company works in a very fast way, but that doesn’t lessen the creative act. It’s about what is the playground of Gucci: I want to stay, I want to feel, and I want to dilate this little swimming pool and turn it into an ocean”.
As a manifestation of Michele’s desire to create as his own pace, this collection is somewhat rebellious in nature through the variation in style, colour and pattern. Referencing the New York street style by using the New York Yankees symbol, as well looks that find their origins in Chinese clothing, this season’s garments pays attention to the cultural diversity needed in fashion at this time. The collection also varies in textures, whether that be suede, embellishments, leather or silk. The variety of patterns also add to, and emphasise the difference from one look to another, with polka dots, flowery prints and tribal inspired embellishments. When looked at holistically, the collection is almost a collection, not of garments with a common thread between them all, but a collection of mismatched items. Michele’s desire to figuratively rebel against the structures and pace of the industry, is represented through this diverse collection.
The accessories this season were perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the collection. The balaclavas, dragon models and models carrying models of their heads, all added to the fantasy element of the collection. Following a ‘cyborg’ concept, the models carrying their own heads look was a take on Cephalaphore – a saint who is depicted carrying his own head. As well as being culturally diverse, this collection, once again in a mismatched fashion, played with the idea of fantasy and reality of fashion with the robotic look of carrying heads, but also through carrying models of dragons and snakes.
Always making a memorable show, Gucci has once again proved their relevance and ability to create interesting collections, but moreover, interesting runway shows.