Alessandro Michele, ‘Une Certaine Tendance de Gucci’ 구찌의 이유있는 진화

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Gucci’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele

Except 2016 s/s men’s fashion week spreading around the world in real time, fashion world nowadays is totally showing their interest in the hottest designer, Alessandro Michele. He had been in charge of all kinds of accessories in Gucci for 12 years, and spent 10 years for Frida Giannini who was a creative director of Gucci –Michele even graduated same fashion school with her(Academy of Costume & Fashion in Rome)-.

And when just a few days were left for 2015 men’s f/w collection, Michele suddenly authorized every responsibility from Giannini–because of poor sales problem-. The fascinating thing is that he perfectly succeeded to dominate every part of the fashion show include looks, details, and even audience arrangement in a very short time. We couldn’t repress our astonishment about him and his ‘quite Michele’ debut show that burst onto the fashion scene that day.

2015 fw men's collection

2015 Gucci fw men’s collection

At the very first show, what made us amuse was absolutely this: “The androgynous romanticism”. Though 2015 Gucci men’s f/w collection that Giannini did reveal was also quite nice, what Michele made this time was truly different kind of coolness with before. I think he even might have had his own deep, strong doubt about those pre-Gucci men who was always too polished and obvious.

Long-haired man model stepped up to the runway wearing red silk blouse with big sophisticated ribbon around his neck, and then lace, fur loafer, vintage coats and knitwear which were incredibly eccentric appeared in order. Androgynous mood was interesting in a different way with J.W Anderson. And finally, that vintage on Gucci! By watching all kinds of those old feeling paisley, optical prints, fur, and suede, we were absolutely bewildered of the fact that Michele could put a total new heritage to Gucci so simply and quickly.

Like that, after 36 amazing looks, everyone shocked. Quite disappointing for existing costumers, quite glad for press. But as a result, I guarantee, this clothes created by one shy man who looks like almost a Jesus –shaggy beard and long hair!- it will make the best sales ever.

They are inheriting total remarkable genealogy of super-star designer…

We couldn’t hardly look forward to the very next show, 2015 fall ready to wear collection, after his debut show which a bit of shock and doubt were coexisted –extraordinary anyway-. I think we should talk about Frida giannini before we get into Michele’s first women’s wear collection. Frida Giannini, a faithful woman of power, I vividly remember some marvels she worked. She was the actual saviour of Gucci which was having a really hard time. From office trough oriental, Giannini’s Gucci was full of glamour and modern sexiness.

But isn’t it also her who made Gucci like a gum without sweetness? Gucci’s dry spell was quite obvious for the last few years-even though her last show in Gucci (2015 s/s RTW collection) took a ‘big hit’-. Not just a sales problem, but more serious problem was in absence of innovation.

Gucci’s aesthetic was still sexy but feels somewhere lacking. So I believed like others, that Gucci will look for other star designer justly. I think we all know well this pattern already. When the curve of sales slowly or rapidly goes down, they immediately lay a finger on their ‘Creative director’, and leave for new superstar.

2015 gucci fw RTW collection1

2015 Gucci fw RTW collection1

Then who are them: Superstar? Well the story started from designers who led 90’s. From Karl Lagerfeld in Chanel, it had connected to Galliano in Dior, Jacobs in Louis Vuitton, and Tom Ford in Gucci etc. They made a sort of myth so to speak, and Pilati, Ghesquiere, Raf, Heddie, Stella, and phoebe continually followed the genealogy. Then nowadays, Christopher kane, Alexander Wang, or Anderson is keeping the stronghold of superstar under the massive fortress like LVMH or PPR.

When we consider this fact, yes, there’s no more surprise that Gucci the flagship of Kering luxury group the king of superstar genealogy made a decision to appoint Alessandro Michele unpopular, Gucci’s young, familiar friend as a new creative director. Is this a real clever marketing or something? I don’t know, but at least this one is the true: every press crowded into Milan just to see Michele’s face, “the advent of new king of superstar”

The time Michele needs to seize Gucci…

Lots of fluorescent lights turned on and oddly androgynous models wearing horn-rimmed glasses walked out through the runway. Extremely vivid and charming long pleats skirt was suggested as a first look, and then short hair nerd looking model wearing green vintage leather suits made a dopey face.

Everything looked quite cozy or even had a creases seems at least 10 years old (include beret, vintage silk blouse, floral dress, yellow horn-rimmed glasses, and fur loafers -that we usually can find in conventional market in Korea). In the feast of this attractive, mild filter, I suddenly wondered why we haven’t ever imagined this kind of agitation from Gucci.

Why have we always expected Gucci to be a refined office woman or a sexy lady crossing her legs under the dim light? –well, for this question, Michele gave us some clues by putting a sort of wording of an Italian philosopher every left side of the seat: “Those who are truly contemporary are those who neither perfectly coincide with their time nor adapt to its demand. Contemporariness, then, is that relationship with time that adheres to it through a disconnection.”-

2015 gucci fw RTW collection2

2015 Gucci fw RTW collection2

The floral prints So to speak! That sophisticated laces lapping around the wrist! Crumbled scarves! Those looked like that they might have a coffee stain somewhere –it was also a great success that Michele intended: “dress with memory”-. We could even smell old naphthalene from 60’s optical prints, embroidered jumpers and silk blouses. Not like the main theme –“vintage-chic”, everything looked incredibly contemporary.

Even if I’m not sure I totally agree with what Michele said –that he wanted to show us sensuality rather than sexiness, his second ready to wear collection in Gucci actually imprinted Gucci girl on a disheveled hair romanticist wearing vintage floral print chiffon dress and horn-rimmed glasses just before we knew it.

2016 resort collection: Journey to the Green fashion jungle…

Literally, hundreds of articles and critics poured out. Most supported Michele, some tilted their heads. And not much later, Michele’s 2016 cruise collection released.

The spirit of this collection was obviously valid in a very handsome, skinny guy having a beautiful fluttering silk flower around his neck –in the official fashion story film that Gucci revealed in YouTube-. And the guy was on one of the most fashionable events which held in the middle of the Manhattan –for this, they had to shut down the whole 22nd street for a moment-. Except a sound of bird which reminded me of a jungle, the show was basically an extension of last 2015 ready to wear collection.

Yes. Vivid purple and faded pink was there and understandably, some huge, sophisticated flowers or ribbons were there too. His unique androgynous mood still dominated whole look. However, there was obviously something quite different with other collections.

It was more ‘Michelesh’ colorful so to speak. Dragonflies, flowers –which remind me of Kane and Dolce & Gabbana- and even tigers were embroidered on dress in a real modern way, and metallic fabric, leather, fur, and particularly quilt were freely modified by his own special way. The peak, of course, was the bag. The bag Full of bloomed flowers carefully picked up from Gucci’s cool archive garage. Those actually made us to convince something about him and the future of the house.

2016 Gucci cruise collection1

2016 Gucci cruise collection1

In this overflowing youth and talent, we could find an unconstrained curiosity and some immatureness-AKA ‘pureness’- which is really missing today in fashion world. Immatureness! This is truly special because most other designers don’t have any more. He does not really distinguish what is noble and what is vulgar and because of that, his aesthetic may even feels like cheapy sometimes.

However, THAT is the real secret of ‘THE romanticism’ –Michele’s very usual theme- which we’re dying for today. Well, to be honest, other designers really have to have a close look for it -or certainly will be-.

2016 Gucci cruise collection2

2016 Gucci cruise collection2

Two ready to wear collection that Michele released was deserve to receive a huge attention as much as comeback show of Galliano or Slimane, and sent strong shock almost like Phoebe’s first collection in Celine. However, before I accept and celebrate his talent, I sincerely hope and pray that today’s success of Michele doesn’t mean “The birth of new superstar” only.



345 Contributor, Lee Seung Min

A freelance fashion columnist, Lee Seung Min tells about fashion, art, culture by his own unique view point more in-depth and make interesting.

프리랜서 패션 칼럼니스트인 이승민은 패션과 예술, 그리고 문화 전반에 대한 심층적이고 솔직한 이야기들을 독특한 시각으로 전해준다.

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