It’ll take some getting used to, and it’ll need to be fleshed out much more, but Alessandro Michele’s vision for Gucci — post-Frida Giannini — could very well be the retro-future, devoid of gender binaries and temporal distinctions. Judging from his debut women’s collection today, after a harried men’s show in January, he’s clearly reaching out to a younger, bookish, spumante-and-Oreo set with a quirky, nerdy, shaggy, mumsy vibe. It’s a welcome new day for the storied Italian house, following Giannini’s seventies exactitude and Tom Ford’s balls-out sex appeal.
You know this neo-Daria look. Think velvet culottes with a gathered waist, fur coats worn over prom-like tulle, men in femme-ish blouses, dirndl-y skirts (some with pleats, some with plissé, some with pleats and plissé), and pussy bows that post-millennials wouldn’t touch if they didn’t happen to be in bright contrast colors. Accessories likewise pointed to an haute-thrift mentality: off-trend berets, moppy shoes, snug beanies, and giant prescription glasses. So while it’s an unfortunate step back for women at the helm of mega-brands, Michele may in fact take Gucci where it would do well to be — in that sweet spot between vintage Yves Saint Laurent and contemporary Prada.
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