Alessandro Michele has become the industry's most recent darling-underdog. With reason, too: everyone loves a fresh take on an age-old brand like Gucci, especially after Frida Giannini’s overdrawn reign. When referencing Gucci’s history, I’ve noticed that people tend to relate Tom Ford’s take on the house to Michele’s, with little mention of Giannini in between. I, along with the rest of the fashion world, was thrilled by the Gucci girl presented first timidly in the autumn/winter 2015 show, and then more boldly for resort. I, along with the rest of the fashion world, was anticipating this spring show with gusto, my hopes urged on by the Vogue story and countless interviews of Michele and his work. But I, unlike the rest of the fashion world, it seems, wasn’t satisfied by what I saw. The collection looked just like what I had reviewed for resort, and, to a lesser degree, the fall season before that; chock full of inspiration, but with little innovation. The 70s, tapestry-esque prints, pussy bows, berets, and geeky-chic glasses have all become Michele-Gucci classics, along with metallic elements and pleated midi-skirts. The collection was a mismatched mood board of 70s art and fashion, all held together with the bicolored band of Gucci. The original quirk will only last so long before he becomes trapped in a granny-printed box. But the charm hasn’t worn off yet.
However similar to his past three collections, there’s still something quite personal to Michele’s shows, which is difficult to achieve for such a globally successful brand. Michele’s past three collections were perfect for establishing his character, but now that he’s got her, it’s time to travel. Perhaps this collection was an attempt at travel, or at least a try at making his girl more international; a map was a key motif and there were Oriental hints, plus the Gucci girl seemed a bit more tropical from her usual city, bookish self, adventuring off a bit with pineapple prints and birds of paradise. This collection also brought quite a bit of surrealism, which only adds to the Gucci girl’s quirk, and, ultimately, charm. All in all, the collection was just the traditional Michele-Gucci aesthetic that we've seen before, but the fact that he’s already established his take on the Gucci girl shows that he’s doing something right. This collection’s strong similarity to past ones was not out of a lack of originality, but rather a lack of prior expression – Michele has never had such a stage for his ideas before, but now that he’s shaped his base of Gucci, the Gucci girl can really take flight.
Photos via Vogue Runway.