Mid-afternoon on the first day of Milan Fashion Week and it was like Night At The Museum in the 'Gucci Hub', the vast, hangar-like space scattered with replicas of sculptures from classical antiquity, Ancient Indian arches and Aztec temple fragments, and a bright blue runway - said to represent the Tiber - running through the scene with streetlights lining its path. Six seasons in and Alessandro Michele stands resolute in his vision, in not bowing to the tides of fashion, the calls for change; the designer even sending out a press release ahead of the show to deliver the message: "Resist the mantra of speed that violently leads to losing oneself. Resist the illusion of something new at any cost."
So what of the clothes? The first looks emerging in smoke-shrouded darkness – another nightmare collection for the avid Instagrammer, strobe lighting revealed that there can be no chance of running Michele's well of eclectic ideas dry. A fashion history mash-up, the co-ed collection encompassed '70s stagewear – inspired by Elton John's archive of Bob Mackie made-to-measures – and '80s silhouettes, top handle bags straight out of the '50s and long, '20s-style pearl-beaded necklaces finished with jewelled monogram brooches. Speaking of monograms, the unmistakeable 'GG' took on many guises, appearing on shoes, bags, skirts and jackets, as well as belting jumpsuits et al, and the Gucci moniker itself was splashed across T-shirts and anoraks.
A collection, then, that will allow Michele's many fans, front-rower and face of Gucci Bloom, Dakota Johnson, included, to build on their existing Gucci wardrobe rather than having to start anew; how refreshing, how brilliant.