Gucci turns the spotlight on their team to showcase their latest collection
The designers at Gucci turn models for the brands new Epilogue Collection, the latest chapter in the Gucci story before they move onto seasonless collections.
Back in February, Alessandro Michele lifted the veil on the backstage process of a Gucci show, leading guests in through hair and make-up and the show itself culminating in models being dressed on a merry-go-round (an apt metaphor for the seasonal fashion calendar). The timing was prescient — it shone a light on the rituals of physical shows, ephemeral events that rely on human interaction and a live audience.
Now, physical fashion shows seem like a distant memory— and whether you love them or hate them, they’re symbols of simpler pre-COVID-19 times. “I have always considered the fashion show as a magic event bursting with enchantment,” he explained at the time. “A liturgical action that suspends the ordinary, loading it with an excess of intensity. A procession of epiphanies and expanded thoughts that settle into a different partition of the sensible.”
So what’s a show-loving designer to do in lieu of a show? Go digital, of course. In a livestream that lasted almost ten hours, more akin to CCTV footage than artfully curated content, we were yet again invited into the making-of process of Gucci’s Resort 2021 campaign. Alessandro titled the collection ‘Epilogue’ as a follow up to his last show and campaign (the one where models photographed themselves) and, as he described it, “the final part of a fairy tale in three parts”. This time round, he invited his design team to model the pieces they’ve spent the last few months working on, and the livestream of them getting ready, sitting in make-up chairs with cooling eye masks surrounded by dressers in face masks further lifted the lid on the goings-on at Gucci.
As the saying goes: that it takes a village … to design a collection. Gucci’s looooong livestream (another great metaphor for the way we document and broadcast the mundanities of our lives) also tapped into a wider notion that has emerged as a key takeaway from the last week of digital “shows”.
So far, we’ve seen celebrations of multiple perspectives at Prada, gone backstage at Hermès, and witnessed the detailed coming-together of Maison Margiela’s Artisanal collection. Here was a reaffirmation of the notion that fashion is a team sport; its superstar designers merely part of bigger family of creatives, craftspeople and a global logged-in audience. “My fairy tale in three parts wants to generate a questioning about the rules, the roles and the functions that keep the world of fashion going,” Alessandro said in a statement. “It’s an inevitably partial investigation, also intentionally deforming: an unbalanced game in which I tried to dismantle the scaffolding.”
Alessandro’s collection itself was a celebration of his beloved leitmotifs: retro kitsch, clashing Milanese prints, revived house accessories (hello, Jackie!), cartoonish colours, and a general sense of sartorial irreverence and playfulness imbued with the sentimental warmth of nostalgia. It comes hot off the heels of Gucci’s announcement that it will be scaling back its collections post-lockdown, presenting just two seasonless collections a year in a bid to be more environmentally-conscious and slow down the unsustainable pace of the fashion system as it is. That means this may well be Gucci’s last-ever Resort collection — and Alessandro put it down to being particularly inspired by seeing a wild boar roam the streets of Rome during the peak of confinement. Nature is healing, so why shouldn’t fashion?