Can it really be less than two years since the arrival of Alessandro Michele? Of course, the creative genius with the Jesus hair behind Gucci’s radical reinvention existed before then – in fact, he existed AT GUCCI, but since he worked away behind the scenes under the creative direction of Frida Giannini, minimalists had no idea that fashion havoc he was about to wreak…
And what exquisite madness it is.
The sequined snakes, the geek glasses, the clashing laces, ruffles, jewels, sequins, pussy bows and embroidered denim. The bell sleeves, the ‘70s wallpaper prints, the Versailles-worthy brocades.
I mean, hello. These things have really caught on. The world has gone Michele mad. (And since you will need to be discussing all this in the office on Monday, here’s a tip: his name is pronounced Mick-elly, hard C. You’re welcome.)
Anyway, as I was saying, the Michele factor is off the scale. The high street is full of pleated metallic skirts and pussy bow blouses, and Chinoiserie bomber jackets. Grown women are moving back in with their parents to save up for hand-painted Dionysus bags (probably).
When the brand showed its Resort 17 collection on Thursday in the Cloisters of London’s Westminster Abbey, the audience included Salma Hayek in lace ruffles, Elle Fanning in bows, and Charlotte Casiraghi in tartan, with tigers, hearts and snakes.
On the runway? Rainbow cat sweaters. Tartan. Acid yellow velvet spiked with royal blue ribbon and red frilly bows. Socks with sandals. Union Jack intarsia knits, mad granny leopard print coats worn with bleached denim. Spriggy English florals teamed with rainbow platform heels, or punk studded denim reminiscent of King’s Road kids from the ‘70s – Michele’s very favourite era.
Back then movie stars shopped Gucci’s leather goods in ritzy boutiques in Italy and New York’s 5th Avenue. In the ‘80s, counterfeiters knocked them off, flooding the market with fakes.
Michele surely has this in mind as he creates. His collections are so detailed, his workmanship so extreme, however hard the high street tries to channel his look – accurate copies are impossible.