With Gucci turning 100 (!) this year, of course they are kicking off celebrations in full-blown style
Our Thoughts on the Reveal of Gucci Aria
Gucci is turning 100 this year and Alessandro Michele sets the tone for the celebration with his off-calendar Aria collection, presented with smash hits like Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” and “Gucci Coochie” by Die Antwoord featuring Dita Von Teese. The format of the collection’s presentation film is mainly recalling the classic catwalk staging with the models walking down a corridor like stars along a red carpet, surrounded by the flash of cameras installed along the white tunnel, reminiscent of a recent Balenciaga campaign. And this isn’t the case by coincidence: it is what Michele calls “hacking” and fundamentally describes him openly taking reference on Demna Gvasalia’s work for the other Kering-owned powerhouse Balenciaga. It couldn’t be more of a pop cultural happening.
As we have come to expect from Alessandro Michele (and we are not at all bored by this), the collection and its presentation are full of references. The roughly 16 minute long film, which has been co-directed by the creative director himself, together with the with multi-disciplinary artist and videographer Floria Sigismondi, starts with one of the models entering the “Savoy Club” after obtaining a glimpse of what’s waiting inside through a peephole in the entry door. The “Savoy Club” remembers London’s Savoy Hotel, where the brand’s founder, Guccio Gucci, worked as a lift boy in his youth and developed a hunger for the glamorous jet-set and party world of the Roaring Twenties, a longing that many are reliving today, a hundred years later, as hope for a post-pandemic decade. The proclaimed glam can be found inside the club with the before described white flash light tunnel and so it is that “Savoy” is printed in big letters on many pieces that are worn down the runway.
When then Rick Ross’ and Future’s “Green Gucci Suit” hits, we get to see another flashback, this time only a bit more than twenty years back to the time when Tom Ford brought back the glory to Gucci. The remake of Ford’s legendary suit designs that Michele pretty much only alters by adding sleek leather fetish accessories to the overall look, also bring back a sexiness into Gucci’s here and now that we still remember so well from the 90s. The other major outcome of Michele’s so-called “hacking lab made of incursions and metamorphoses” are the numerous looks he has taken from the Balenciaga archives, with the approval of their designer, Demna Gvasalia, and placed in the Gucci cosmos in a way that often could not be labeled more boldly, but also often could not be more exciting when seen through Michele’s eyes. Materials and colors perfectly fit into the aesthetic he has championed for Gucci for six years now already. Moreover, it still gives home to the outcasts of mainstream society with a young and edgy model cast that might come across a little more fierce than in previous collections.
After seeing the striking looks staged inside the white tunnel, you don’t get to leave the show with a cold feeling though but instead Michele and Sigismondi invite you out in the enchanted nature with the models dancing next to careering white horses and strolling peacocks, serving yet another need we all seem to be feeling around the world right now. “Nature is a haunted house -but Art- is a house that tries to be haunted” (E. Dickinson) is the quote chosen by Michele to headline the Aria collection and latest after seeing the collection’s presentation film, you immediately get what Michele tried to express with it.
Overall, the collection excites with many well-known elements whose respective origins Michele is not shy to cite and puts them into his own new context which leaves a fresh feeling, a feeling of desire that not many are able to create. It is the most fun thing the commercial world of fashion has offered us in a while.
Text: Luis Hartmann
Images: Courtesy of Gucci