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ALESSANDRO THE ICONOCLAST

After viewing designer ALESSANDRO MICHELE’s GUCCI MEN’S SPRING/SUMMER 2016, we were shocked. Not unpleasantly, really, but in the same way we’d be shocked to see the STATUE OF LIBERTY suddenly painted yellow. Well, Alessandro has done it again with his GUCCI WOMEN’S SPRING/SUMMER 2016 collection. In fact, it’s virtually the same collection, minus the crossdressing. Scratch that - just like his men’s collection, he shows man-tailored suits on women and dresses on men. But we see some of the same shoes, bags, fabrics, accessories and details. What is new and fresh is the sparkly sequined trompe l'oeil detailing, which, along with the mismatched colors, daring proportions, and crossdressing, make for a cartoon-ish feel. Ever the iconoclast, Alessandro makes damn good and sure that he erases the Gucci of the TOM FORD era, and presents another startlingly unexpected

collection. It is a geeky, vintage-y look, that defies imagination. The color palette is all over the map - including some of the map-printed garments. Not that there aren’t some spectacular pieces buried in this collection, but the presentation itself was distracting. And it raises the same question that the men’s collection does - who is going to wear these clothes? And where do they wear them? The A-line trench coats are identical to the men’s, as are the lace skirts, silk flowers at the neck, and the pussycat bows. What is different is the amount of nudity. Not technically nude, but utilizing fabrics so sheer, it’s as if there were just a mist of transparent color on the models. Do we love the collection? Yes, in the sense that Alessandro tears down the old conventions and presents something so new, that it’s just going to take us awhile to adjust. Will we rush out and buy it? Probably not. But clearly Alessandro has made fashion history.

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Photography by: Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com