January 2015: Milan's catwalks were taken over by men in furry moccasin slippers, wearing silk blouses and lace, and by women wrapped in ruffles of striking colors and patterns, their faces eaten up by huge glasses. Alessandro Michele just presented his first show as creative director for Gucci. The surprise is total; the infatuation, immediate; the Gucci passion, obsessive.
Since then, Alessandro Michele has presented 11 shows whose aesthetics have proven to be as unique as they are whimsical and challenging. Gucci, once again an opinion leader, has also regained its role as a precursor, taking risks and inviting humor and glamour to the same table. For while luxury has tended to make mostly commercial choices in recent years, the 44-year-old Roman, on the other hand, dares everything: flare pants, ruffles, bangs, embroidery, extravagant hues - nothing is too extreme for Michele.
Sulfurous in its essence, the House of Gucci has been the breeding ground for a saga as bloody as it is erotic. After the sad event that made the news in 1983, Tom Ford took over the reins of the House and spent the next decade as a master of Porno Chic. Deploying the greatest effects on the catwalks, opening up mentalities - and the bodices of his models, Ford pushes the limits of politically correct. Which is probably why, when she took over as Creative Director in 2005, Frida Giannini sought a new form of power for the Gucci woman. Less sexual, more refined, she rediscovered herself, all in vibrant colors and delicate fabrics.
What about Alessandro Michele, then? Looted from Fendi by Tom Ford himself (in 2002), he spent 13 years evolving within the House's design studio before taking over as head of the company. When he presented his first Fall/Winter 2015 men's collection, he also launched a revolution that heralded a new Gucci era.
Playing with extravagance, convention, androgyny, and building on the brand's past, which he has mastered perfectly, Michele breaks down the doors to take it beyond, further, into the lands of a new aesthetic, giving it a lively, flamboyant and elegant voice.
Gucci, once again in the spotlight, and for the best reasons in the world, this time resumes its place both on the street and on the red carpet, and plays the omnipresence. From Florence Welch at the Grammy Awards to Carrey Mulligan at the British Independent Film Awards, from Jared Leto's everyday Gucci to Lady Gaga's Super Bowl, Gucci is everywhere. Welcome back.
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