A Look into the Liberation of one of Italy's Most Iconic Fashion Houses
After a departure from the modern silhouettes, sharp lines and European jet-setter styling that have been their trademarks for years, Gucci went in a new direction with Creative Director Alessandro Michele, who took over in 2015. Gucci’s latest offering can be considered the first that Michele has built from the ground up. This season, we were treated to a visual journey that mapped his vision for the new Gucci: A vision that is driven by the cultural influence of youth and the power of reinvention.
The collection’s concept has been described as Détournement (pronounced “day-ture-ney-maw”). The word translates to “rerouting” or “hijacking,” but has come to mean the integration of old cultural productions in new political, social or artistic products that reference the past, often in a scathing or mocking way. Used in political and activist circles, the word means “turning expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself.”
What Michele delivers is a tongue-in-cheek reinvention of vintage silhouettes and fabrics from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s. Take the bow blouse: Traditionally worn by women, it has now been overhauled for the confident, youthful man. Other gender-bending decisions, such as the use of floral prints, silk, lace and intricate embroidery, have been reworked in ways that manage to present unmistakably as menswear. That is the real magic of Michele’s design process: He began with inspiration from a time of strict rules about masculinity and femininity, handpicked the most intricate and interesting elements without regard for gender norms, and crafted an androgynous collection that I believe will be enduring and influential for years to come.
This new collection breathes vitality back into a fashion house that many had seen as stuck in the 1990s. In particular, the men’s collection stands out themselves due to its whimsical flair. It satisfies those craving more creativity and beauty in men’s fashion. Michele has created an opening to allow men to rediscover their youthful rebelliousness through fashion by donning classically feminine elements, colors and fabrics in newer, masculine ways.