WORDS Laurie Trueman
PHOTOGRAPHY Glen Luchford
Gucci’s Spring Summer 2017 campaign, shot by the fashion house’s star photographer Glen Luchford, is perhaps its most provocative advertising vision since Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer 2003 advert, where Ford toyed with sexual imagery and fashion accessories. Looking to 2017, Gucci have shaped a photography set of wild animals, and models, to show off its cultural vision. The campaign, which consists of twenty-five shots, was photographed around Gucci’s city of Rome, at a hotel, a café and the infamous Trevi fountain. Alessandro Michele’s vision of Gucci is consistently visceral, and the Rome streets play a great backdrop for a campaign that plays with a more controversial subject – the use of wild animals as fashion imagery, and prop. Tigers, lions and leopards, the wildest and most regal of animals act as symbols of luxury throughout, with a tiger striding its way around the city, as though it is their own.
The metaphorical figures that the big cats represent is Michele’s own way of referencing those of historic and cultural value from the City of Rome, “artists’ intellectuals, creative and outsider characters,” the house stated, referencing icons such as actress Laura Betti, director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and artist Mario Schifano as characters of inspirational note. The campaign recruited new faces, to play homage to old talent – models such as Daisy Cvitkovic, Dwight Hoogendijk, Olof Kallstrom and a heavily tattooed Lorens Miklasevics. The models sport the new vision of Gucci, Michele sells the Italian house’s new found audience a lifestyle of luxury, with clothes of eccentricity, flirtatiousness and frivolity – including heavy jewels, Donald Duck stitched on a pair of classic Gucci loafers, slogan t-shirts, and a dress with the word ‘cemetery’ embossed around the waist. The campaign captures the loudest, wildest, most admired elements of Gucci today – a popular vision formulated by the intelligent, and wondrous mind of Rome’s own Michele.