Just as one was starting to think Alessandro Michele couldn't possibly top his previous efforts for Italian power house Gucci the Creative Director issued a production that practically had the fashion pack moved to tears. From the tickets, which were recorded readings of Jane Austen and William Blake, to the front row, featuring aficionados Jared Leto and Florence Welch, to the new show space, located at the shiny new headquarters in Milan and decorated with a raised glass corridor that doubled as a 360° runway, the show was set to be a true spectacle from the start.
The theme was 'The Alchemist's Garden: An Anti-Modern Laboratory', explained by Michele as: "There's a garden of plants and animals. A Garden inhabited by signs, symbols and archetypes invoking and recalling remote worlds. In this magic place, curious hands play with matter, blending it with the unconscious." And on that note, a plethora of men's and women's looks hit the runway (a whopping 120 in total), assembly line-style, showcasing once again the creative genius that has revolutionised the storied house.
QUOTE: "A mesmerising collection that took over Milan Fashion week." Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant
With its signature 'grandma's dress-up box' sensibility, the line-up consisted of drop-waist skirt suits, silk blouses and pleated skirt pairings and glittering medieval-style gowns decorated with a plethora of flora and fauna. Furs came in typical Margot Tenenbaum style, worn with athletic headbands – emblazoned with ‘Gucci’, they were certainly something Margot's brother, Chas, would have embraced. Meanwhile, a Chinoiserie twist saw oriental flowers painted onto blazers and parasols. Accessories-wise the choice is dizzying, from logoed luggage to top handle versions of the best-selling Dionysus; heeled loafers to pearl-embellished kitten heels.
For men, the Seventies suit prevailed, wide-legged and slim blazered, in checks or florals and adorned – as much as any womenswear look – with patterned bow ties, chunky socks, stacked rings and statement eyewear. Outerwear came as chic and simple as a boxy camel coat or sheepskin aviator to the full floral treatment. In no one else's wildest dreams would such splendidly clashing but on-point combinations be conjured, but for Alessandro Michele we have the sneaky suspicion these aren't even his wildest dreams.
"Alessandro has proven that he is one that marches to the beat of his own drum; and his drum is an enchanted, fun, OTT, quirky, eccentric and fashion loving one. We saw all measure of daywear, eveningwear, outerwear and accessories, all heavily embellished, decorated, colour saturated and most of all – unique. A mesmerising collection that took over Milan Fashion week," said Harrods Chief Merchant Helen David, of the show.