The fashion commentators of the world exist on a lower cosmological plane than the creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele. Where some like to describe the designer’s creative approach as “pie-esque” – drawing an analogy to his ability to weave multiple references and techniques into a texture-rich, multi-layered nest of haute couture – he prefers to align with figures such as the late philosopher and eclectic thinker Walter Benjamin.
“Benjamin, after all, is a quote collector.” Read Michele’s self-penned notes, which were handed out during last night’s Gucci mid-season show “Cosmogony.” “He discovers them from the depths of the sea and brings them to the surface of the water like rare and precious pearls. He resembles them like shreds of thoughts that need to be recomposed, reconstructed, brought up to date.
You don’t have to have the intellect of Benjamin (or Michele, for that matter) to realize that the messianic designer applies much the same approach to producing his own collections, interweaving unexpected fabrics, surprising technical flourishes and rich historical references in the wide lapels and flowing hems of the garments that parade on its catwalks.
Last night’s mixed bid of 101 was a contrapuntal example. Shown at dusk, the outfits that roamed the spooky halls of the medieval castle of Castel del Monte in Puglia focused mainly on a moody aesthetic ready for the evening. The opening masculine look, a head-to-toe black grained leather trench coat and pants, complemented by steel-toed boots, sets the Saturnian tone.