PHOTOGRAPHY Glen Luchford
WORDS Conrad Bischoff
In Alessandro Michele’s latest campaign for Gucci, his cast of quirky but elegant youths have traveled to Tokyo. The overall vibe for this season resembles the dreamy Tokyo of Lost In Translation (2003), but without the lonely hotel rooms and with the eclectic friendship of The Breakfast Club (1985)’s clique. The campaign was once again shot by Glen Luchford and features a video to go along with the photographs. Luchford is known for his cinematic photography and captured the models as they adventured around Tokyo from day until night, armed with a party bus and bubble-gun. The campaign further emphasized its cinematic inspiration with short, bracketed subtitles at the bottom of each photo, saying everything from “pop” to “cascade of ringing bells”.
While that’s all well and good, it’s important not to lose focus on what should really be the center of attention here: the clothes. Michele has continued with his genius romantic mix of luxurious fabrics, subtle details, and styling risks that bring to mind a youthful courage (Think bright red tights paired with green leather stilettos). Whereas most designers look to Fall/Winter to utilize a darker and more restricted palette, Michele’s AW16 is a vibrant collection of neons and glittering embellishments set against solid tones and patterns. Photos from the “night” portion of the campaign confirm that Michele must have had the neon lights of Tokyo in mind when designing this collection, as models are shown leaning against a fully lit-up party bus or playing around the rainbow lights of casino machines in sequin gowns and star-studded sunglasses. It is in this way that the clothes seem so much a part of the environment that Luchford has shot them in, as though the kids are simply wearing things they’ve picked up from their latest voyage.
While the campaign did an excellent job of showing off some of Michele’s most eccentric coats and gowns yet, it was not without its sartorial spotlights. One men’s silk suit, cherry-blossom pink with a green and white floral pattern, was perfectly placed against a wall with a painted bonsai tree. And then there was a black wool mohair tuxedo, which was given the new Gucci’s signature touches: a black grosgrain neck bow with a feline head pin and white sleeves embroidered in red script with what we can all imagine to be the Gucci catchphrase “l’aveugle par amour”, or “blind for love”. As the model in the photo holds a vintage boombox, with a subtitle reading “hits play”, I can’t help but wish I was out traveling the world with the Gucci kids.
We’ve seen two campaigns now of Michele’s splendidly dressed world -travelers, first they climbed a roof in Berlin, and now they partied around Tokyo; where will the gang travel to next? Or, more importantly, how will Michele keep his next installment interesting and exciting? Another campaign of models running around a beautiful city with some action shot photos and a feel-good video just seems too predictable at this point. A part of me hopes for a darker romantic vision; less romantic glitz and bohemian glamour and more black. Or maybe Michele will switch up the creative team and we’ll be the audience to something completely new. If there’s only one thing for certain though, it’s that all eyes are still on Gucci.