Alessandro Michele Knows How To Put On A Show

Gucci SS17 Show in Milan.


Photography provided by Vogue Runway
WORDS Conrad Bischoff


     Gucci's Spring/Summer 2017 show is a lesson not only on dressing extravagantly hip, but also in the very act of putting on a show itself. No show of recent memory has been so perfectly tailored in each and every one of its components to instill its audience with the passion behind its clothing as Gucci latest show.  


     Of course, there were the trademarks of Alessandro Michele menswear: loose cut tuxes with big bowties and round-rimmed reading glasses, elaborate floral embroidery, wild pattern pairings that somehow come together beautifully, etc. These elements, though they have come to be what we all look forward to in one of Alessandro’s shows, are nothing new. If the men’s looks of this season’s ready-to-wear show are any indication of what we can expect from his upcoming menswear show in January, I would say to envision a more classically elegant, sartorially savvy Gucci guy, and less of the studded leather, acid-wash wearing bloke from last season. 


     While the womenswear was also a demonstration of the meticulous attention to playfully eccentric detail at Gucci, what truly elevated this show to an artistic performance was the value placed on venue and music. Some designers choose to place less emphasize on the show spaces themselves and opt for simple, bass laden soundtracks for their models to walk with down the runway. Neither is true in the case of Alessandro. This season’s venue utilized mirrored walls, hazy, red lighting (another recent favorite of Alessandro’s), and a carpet with the iconic Gucci stripe. Flashes that went off during the show were doubled as they rebounded off the walls, which may have been a subtle play on the cameras of the paparazzi, as Alessandro cited Hollywood as an influence behind this show. 


William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, 1789-1794


     Gucci’s soundtrack this season jumped among a church choir piece, chamber music, and ambient jungle noises. Over the latter two, an English woman’s voice was heard beautifully reciting works from William Blake’s poetry collection Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Blake, an English Romantic, was the perfect choice to thread together this collection with Alessandro’s last collection and the current Cruise 2017 campaign, which pay homage to his love of England. The array of influences among the music, venue, and clothes themselves might sound to some who do not know of Alessandro’s work to be something of a disaster; how could all these elements come together in an attractive way? We, however, are familiar with the Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, and find it no surprise that we were wowed yet again at his spectacularly diverse show.