Alessandro Michele’s Gucci’s Resort’17 Takes British Cultural Influence & Runs With It

by Katie on June 2, 2016

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It takes a while to take in and deconstruct a Gucci show by Alessandro Michele. And by a while, I mean a LONG while. I think I need a lie down after Gucci Resort ‘17. And that’s before I even mention the ‘Scarborough Fair’ choral soundtrack.

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Rather than attending the show (yup, got it, thanks…what’s the next show?) or flicking through the first reams of catwalk images (yup, got it, this is what’s new, where the designer’s going etc), my immediate response (usually) to Michele’s work is, “What tha’ holy feck is this? To, “Oh, that’s really quite nice.” And, “That would really work on a young Japanese girl. But really? On a middle-aged, elegant woman who has £££s to play with?” To finally, “Now he’s just taking the p.”

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Michele, however, can do no wrong in Planet Fashion as he does, truly, push boundaries and inject newness. It’s fodder for stylists and pages and pages of editorial story inspiration.

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If anything, as I’ve mused before, it’ll keep clever Ebayers busy, scouring vintage (much like Michele has), replicating the looks or those buying into the heaving branded accessories line. ALL of which was shown, neigh, heaped to the gunnels in multiples, on the catwalk at Westminster Abbey in today’s Resort ‘17 show. Well, as Brit doyenne Patsy Stone is wont to say, “You can never have enough hats, gloves shoes.”

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On a serious note, the setting and the feel may have been influenced by the British but rather than ‘English Eccentric’ with a mix of country and city kudos, the collection seemed far more ‘foreign’ with its feigned British folly. Brexit voters will be waving their little Englander fists and crying, ‘”See what happens when they steal our culture!”. Less Florence Welch and more Parisienne stylist, Catherine Baba, as muse.

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The collection trooped out the usual maximalism that Michele is known for. I was surprised there was no militaristic trooping of the colours slant, though there were plenty references to Her Majesty in her 90th year with headscarves, kilts and handbags clutched on the arm. Then there were Eton’esque boaters and Gucci rain hoods, as well as 1960s Carnaby street hippie tinges. Painting by numbers Britishness blurred the more beautiful pieces such as the frou-frou candy pink evening dress or the see-through gossamer black frill cocktail dress. As I’ve mentioned, it takes a while to sink in and sift out the outstandingly good from the simply playing-to-the-masses. It leaves one with a taste for a clean sorbet plainness to cleanse the palette and digest.

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The gender blurring worked to great effect with Gucci Menswear being the strongest in terms of hip, casual, street-meets-nightclub wear – studded leathers, tie-dyed tight jeans, hoodies, branded sweats, preppie blazers. Women could work this easily and sexily. And I guess that’s Alessandro Michele’s point. Blurring the distinction between men’s and women’s collections is the true message. One that he’s excelled in, in fact. As an opener to next week’s LCM shows, this was setting the bar high.

Catwalk photos kindly supplied from WWD (Please click on the link to see more).

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