PHOTOGRAPHY Derek Ridgers
WORDS Conrad Bischoff
Gucci has added yet another chapter to the spellbinding story none of us can seem to put down. In the countless praises of past collections, we have read about Alessandro Michele’s somewhat inexplicable ability to weave together a vast array of influences to create something that everyone wants to wear. The charming answer Michele has given in interviews when asked “How do you do it?” is that he is a dreamer, who believes in the fantasy of fashion in a time when so much of the industry is focused on fashion as a commodity, rather than a medium through which we can express ourselves — as a form of art. Hailed as the champion of a “New Romantic” age of fashion, various other brands have followed suit with collections that have blurred conceptions of gender, brought back the 70’s, and referenced fashion from centuries ago.
So what has Michele brought into the fold with his latest menswear lookbook? Sportswear, another trend that has also helped to define 2016 in fashion, has made its way into the world of Gucci. Hoodies were found throughout the collection under oversized denim jackets, olive military coats, and the now commonplace satin souvenir jacket. There was also an athletic short paired with thick wool socks; tight, patterned joggers, and platform (a colored, striped, platform) shoes, perhaps Gucci’s own imagined court-side-style. Jumpsuits also came in an elegant array of choices: an all-over geometric print, orange layered underneath tartan blazer, and blue satin.
The wild card of this season was a straw hat with frayed brim, placed atop models heads who wore it with suits and cardigans or a suede, rocker jacket and patterned silk scarf. While I wasn't quite sure where Michele found inspiration for the hats, there was something playful and charming about the collections first look that set the tone for the remainder. The few most noticeable carryovers from previous seasons were the now-famous fur lined loafer, the Union Jack, and thick, white socks with nearly every shoe.
Michele’s chosen motif of the collection was outer space, conveyed through planets, rocket ships, and flying saucers appeared as colorful patches on jackets, shoes, and bags. A particularly memorable piece was a shimmering bomber jacket in blue, gold, and red that one could too easily imagine twinkling like the night sky. One sweater also featured a large flying saucer with a rainbow beam coming from underneath and the word “FUTURE” in large font above. Perhaps an homage to David Bowie’s passing away last year, and also a subtle sign that Michele looks forward to the future with hope, as space seems to be one place left that promises new adventures and discoveries for him to dream about.