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One day after Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring/summer show, Gucci new collection stoned world fashion trends! It is a worldwide fashion news phenomena! Alessandro Michele has changed what Gucci means as “italian luxury fashion brand”! At the beginning of 2015, before Michele’s promotion from accessories to the design responsability, the shoe was an international symbol for smooth, establishment sophistication and a certain type of expensive-restaurant sex appeal.
After two seasons of Michele’s Gucci, the loafer – backless and fur-soled for autumn, raised on a pearl-studded heel for spring – stands for surrealism, androgyny and an avant-garde kind of luxury.
The reinvention of Gucci has been the “Cinderella” fashion industry story of the year so far. A luxury fashion brand that arguably stagnated under designer Frida Giannini, retreating from the sex-and-rock’n’roll image it had under Tom Ford without finding a new direction, has invented an aesthetic – dubbed the glam Gucci geek, or the glitter geek – that is now setting not Milan fashion agenda but worlwide fashion trends! As a result, Michele’s second major Gucci womenswear collection was the most high-stakes show on the Milan fashion schedule this week. Having written a gripping opening to his new Gucci story, the question now becomes whether Michele can sustain the momentum.
This season, the show venue moved from the theatre in central Milan which was favoured by both Giannini and Ford to a disused railway depot. Disused railway depot is, of course, fashion week shorthand for raw and edgy, a message underlined by the pouring rain that clattered on to the corrugated iron roof. The designer sent out a message that contrasted with the slick old-Gucci aesthetic in another way. Where once upon a time a Gucci invite could be replied upon to be a slab of expensively embossed gold paper or a scrap of white leather, this season it was a delicate pink mesh envelope, hand embroidered with tiny red roses.
Gucci new collection was built on last season’s inspirations. Frump-length skirts came in disco-dolly fabrics; spectacles and plaits gave a nerdy edge to printed silk dresses. A green trouser suit was worn with a pink pussy-bow blouse, berets and neck ties and brightly coloured suitcases leant an eccentric glamour.
The establishment of a core aesthetic is commercially essential, because the brand is currently designing new stores and packaging to fit Michele’s vision, and these will need to chime with collections some years in the future. (Milan fashion boutique, the first to be redesigned, is losing the wood panelling and gold hardware in favour of marble and velvet) Michele’s background as an accessory designer came through in a new higher profile for handbags and shoes, with colourful and playful takes on the house classics.
Here it is one reason why Alessandro Michele and Gucci are now leading world fashion trends pack!