Fashion moves faster than your iPhone battery depletes in the cold, and for brands who want to stay on the top, statement-making moves are critical.
Surely that’s what led Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele to send models down the runway holding replicas of their own heads, hair and all. Is it creepy? Kind of. Has it got the world buzzing about Gucci, yet again? You bet.
The entire fall/winter 2018 collection, which was presented this week in Milan, had a pinch of sci-fi thriller along with a heaping spoonful of whimsy. Instead of a stark catwalk, Michele transformed the space into an eerie operating room with long silver tables that looked ready for a surgeon to step up to and shout, “scalpel!”.
Not all models carried decapitated heads, however. Some gently held tiny sleeping dragons, lime green chameleons or long snakes as they sauntered down the runway (all fake, like the heads, but we kind of wish they were real). Others held handbags, and you’ve got to imagine they were slightly disappointed when they found out backstage that they had a purse as a prop and not a mini mythical creature.
Gucci’s brand image had a one-way ticket for Snoozeville before Michele brought his quirky, vintage-inspired aesthetic to the fashion house in 2015. At the time, Michele was considered unknown by international fashion standards, but handing over the reigns to this fresh face was the best move Gucci has made in years. The transformation under Michele’s boundary-pushing direction has been impressive and refreshing; Gucci has gained cult-cool status yet again.
“We are the Dr. Frankenstein of our lives,” Michele said at a press conference following the show. “There’s a clinical clarity about what I am doing. I was thinking of a space that represents the creative act. I wanted to represent the lab I have in my head. It’s physical work, like a surgeon’s.”
Watching the show was like stepping into a shop of curiosities and oddities, only staffed with really well dressed employees wearing electric-hued frocks and floor-length floral trench coats.
Most of the show was weird and wonderful, but we’re also wondering, were the intricate props just a distraction from this?