PHOTOGRAPHY Yannis Vlamos via Vogue.com
WORDS Kara Douglas

     Fashion is an ever evolving entity that thrives on compelling, novel endeavours and Alessandro Michele’s recent Gucci AW17 collection was the complete embodiment of such notions. Integrating mens and womenswear for the first time in the history of the fashion house, Michele presented Milan with a gender fluid collection that spanned a broad design spectrum, as he debuted a show comprised of a prodigious 119 designs.

     There was a heavy floral presence throughout, suits were washed with floral patterning and the occasional model gripped baskets of flowers as they wandered the plastic runway of the brand’s new headquarters. The collection was named “The Alchemist’s Garden” a reference to Michele’s vision; that the individual designs were all flowers within the metaphorical garden of his mind, in which he could pick, pair together and manipulate pieces to create his “gold”.

     Although unintentional in the beginning, Michele’s collection abandoned the concept of “less is more” as he cultivated an abundance of designs, exploring the pinnacle of fashion’s stylistic history. 70’s inspired red, low cut jumpsuits walked amongst British driven tweed tailoring and Punk even briefly reared it’s head with a PVC pant and tartan shirt ensemble.

     The intense array of vibrant non conformist designs had deliciously dangerous and exciting elements to them. In a show where fashion norms no longer existed, Michele pushed his visionary boundaries to the extremes as he paired the exceptionally beautiful with the intensely ludicrous to create a captivating common ground. Models adorned jersey all-in-ones that were embellished with the Gucci monogram and were accessorised with heavily studded fetish reminiscent chokers. Camel suits were enhanced with bold stripes of Gucci’s signature reds and greens and paired alongside matching sweat bands as some models were covered head to toe in crystal encrusted suits beneath their outfits to provoke a mysteriously alluring, alien-like presence.

     The Gucci AW17 collection was an honourable salute to individuality; it’s eclectic designs leaving a prominent impression upon the audience as Michele motivated Gucci’s devotees to abandon their serious and constrictive outlooks on fashion and encouraging us to embrace and be more daring with our everyday style. A concept we sadly seem to forget every once in a while.