Last month I asked the question: Can Gucci get anymore extravagant? Well, it appears that the Italian fashion house can and if its Fall/Winter 2019 collection is anything to go by, it is only an upwards trajectory from here.
Overnight, Milan Fashion Week saw Alessandro Michele present his latest collection for the brand. Placing guests in a carousel-like seating pattern, the runway was lit up with an overwhelming culmination of lights and mirrored flooring for a dramatic setting like nothing else. Backed by an all encompassing chime of an opera chorus and war drums, models aggressively stormed onto the runway clad in oversized silhouettes and avant garde accessories.
Amongst reinvented sportswear and eighties references, terrifying spikes poked obtrusively from cuffs and chokers, while the running theme for the collection came in the form of a variation of kitsch masks. A strong contrast to that of the glamorous display for Spring/Summer 2019, the latest season was far more gothic and dark in its appropriation, creating an intensely impactful parade. But while its wearability is considered questionable, its speaks to its customer – and more importantly – an entire generation.
In an era where advanced technology is now more than ever utilised – and abused – social media is what has created our social identity. When you meet someone for the first time, it isn’t in the physical world but more often than not as a two dimensional being, judged before we open our mouth – acting as a mask, if you will.
“The mask becomes the means through which we become what we feel we are,” Michele’s notes read, drawing direct inspiration from philosopher Hannah Arendt and her 1958 book “The Human Condition.” Arendt “reminds us that we are persons when we choose the mask through which we appear on the world’s stage.”
Through the clothes on our back and how we choose to communicate through the internet, Michele’s FW/19 collection is an exhibition of the social landscape we live in, while the sports-inspired armour and OTT hardware acts as a protection against a harsh society.
But whether its societal statement is interpreted by the consumer or not, the influx of cult footwear, leather goods and on-trend athleisure reveals that while Alessandro is diving further into the rabbit hole, Gucci is still speaking to its audience.
Watch the full runway below.