Gucci SS16: Serious About Peacocks

Alessandro Michele’s conflation of 70s-style disco with handcrafted opulence has created a new mythology for the Gucci brand. His runway shows have proved to be a dizzying pastiche of vintage influences, where he just chucks everything at you –  heavy embroidery, heritage motifs, tassels, sequins, pussy bow collars, oversize sepia-coloured shades, flares, peasant dresses and pimped-up tuxedos. All bets are off when you press play on a Gucci show, and yet everything harmoniously sits together as if it’s just meant to be. A new visual language that is accessible and democratic but still very much framed within an elitist and luxury context.

You could easily draw a parallel between Gucci’s campaigns and Wes Anderson’s films – visually there are obvious similarities to their aesthetics. Irreverent and highly stylised, Gucci’s film and photographic output is no doubt indebted to the American filmmaker (who ironically collaborates with Prada), although amusing eccentricities are less of an indulgence for the Italian fashion house. Gucci, unlike Versace which has whole heartedly embraced the Zoolander franchise, takes itself seriously.

Having said this, the recent SS16 campaign shot by Glen Luchford will make you smile when you consider how difficult it must have been for the male model to skate board around a Berlin museum and travel on the U-Bahn with a peacock tucked neatly under his arm. Still you smile without mockery, because somehow Gucci with Alessandro Michele has managed to pull off fashion’s most significant re-branding since, well, Tom Ford did it the first time round, albeit very differently

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