Wow! Talk about turnaround at a label?
Newbie creative director, Alessandro Michele, appointed only at the beginning of the year, is already making waves. Exactly what waves in terms of commercial success we wait to see, but already the house that gave us top sex from Ford in its heyday to a laid back feminine sensuality from Frida Giannini (if it never quite went full steam ahead with stagnant sales and bored editors), seems to be targeting a new breed of hip consumer more akin to the early days of Marni and Miu Miu and Marc. Making a point of showing the collection in New York instead of his native Milan, the clues were all there. This is hipster New York ‘Girls’ territory. And, if certainly not on top, they’re harking back to the don’t-care-what-I-wear-eclecticism of ‘90s kooky urban grunge. Rocky territory for such a huge label.
Just as global social media seems not to get enough of the siren Pro-Ho look and appeal of Kardashians et al, all big backsides and plunge transparency, Alessandro Michele seems have reversed the Titanic and gone for Geekdom. (But will he still hit that iceberg?). That isn’t to say there aren’t some beautifully sexy pieces in there like transparent silk chiffon shirts and frill dresses, but the thigh high slits of the Gucci we know and love seems all to have disappeared for a clientele that is decidedly more Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshanna.
Short lace button through shifts ached to be worn by the Alexa Chungs of this world but hasn’t this world moved on from over-styling without the ingenuity of new ideas as well as cut and splice? Yes, there were clashing fabrics, patterns. loads of bold colour and pleats and floral prints aplenty, but this new ‘yoot’ audience is going to have to spend plenty of mullah to make Gucci quite as gargantuan a label as it was.
Where you see the brain churning at Gucci HQ is the new logo’ism. The two G’s are as apparent as ever but in a new guise and not as you’d know it. Then, there was lots of specs, leather handbags (of course), corsages, berets and turbans – the hardworking accessories that sell a look for the brand and make for easy buy-in for those with less spending power but more inclination. Alongside street-hungry St Martins fash students with the urge to splurge, this was definitely a look for the strong Asian market who buy into a look hook, line and sinker.
There were plenty of cute little skirt suits (aka Chanel) and nods to the house’s tradition (the green and red, the vivid pattern) but this was almost too, too much to take in. Like the surroundings and the invitation with serpent, bumble bee, new font and flock pattern, this could have done with serious editing, letting some of the stronger pieces shine through. As it is, the editors and the buyers have their work cut out.
Meanwhile, Peter Dundas must be joyous at Cavalli. He’s ready to take over the Glamma crown.
Catwalk images used by kind permission of www.style.com