Ever disruptive, Alessandro Michele marked his return to the Milan women’s runway with a men’s collection, attracting pregnant Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Jared Leto, Jodie Turner-Smith, Serena Williams and a slew of other stars.
Take that, Prada!
The concept was to go back to Michele’s first Gucci men’s collection in all its nudity, which at the time said haters looked more like women’s clothing.
That was then, but it is now. And if Michele has proven anything in his seven years as creative director at Gucci, it’s that the genre is just another label to play with and twist, like Mickey Mouse, Paramount Pictures or The North Face.
“Now they talk about gender fluidity, but when I started, I didn’t know,” Michele said in a pre-show interview, when he gave an update on his contributions to fashion, including understood the much imitated idea of creating clothes for individuals, rather than fashion collections. “I’m trying to say again that I’m really open in that way…I want to look at the meaning of men’s fashion, masculinity and how women can embrace it.”
It was actually a woman who opened the show, dressed in a men’s double-breasted navy blue brass-button suit, reminiscent of the kind of office attire and “Working Girl” pumps that was a corporate outfit. 1980s office, except for the green mullet hairstyle.
“I’ve always been halfway between two genders,” Michele explained.
Many Millennials and Gen Zers would agree; they would also agree that street style East fashion, a truism that has revolutionized the luxury landscape, has teamed Dior and Louis Vuitton with Nike, Prada with Adidas, Balenciaga with Yeezy Gap and many more.
Now it was Gucci’s turn. Michele has launched a collab with Adidas that could be his biggest yet, mixing streetwear with Italian sartorial tradition to create elevated tracksuits that should send hype beasts into orbit. Without forgetting to push them to dress a little more. If this is a season about power couture, Michele has figured out how to serve it up to sneakerheads.
“The idea was to break the codes of sportswear,” he said, sharing that the collection will be sold through pop-ups around the world, which he helped design.
More than just slapping an Adidas logo on T-shirts and hoodies, as others have done, Michele blended the codes of Adidas with those of Gucci, achieving something sleek and stylish. elegant, similar to his Balenciaga Hacking Project.
The centerpiece of the collection was a red track dress, inspired by a DIY Adidas dress made by LA designer Laura Whitcomb of the 90s Label brand, and worn by Madonna in 1993.
“She did something in my blood years ago…and she’s now part of my work because I met her in a picture,” Michele said. (Whitcomb, now an art curator, was a house guest at the show, where she reminisced about the mix of high and low culture and how that spirit reverberates in the streets today. today. And a Gucci version of her dress took to the runway.)
A beautifully tailored royal blue corduroy suit with broad shoulders, a double-breasted blazer featuring the Adidas cloverleaf logo on the chest pocket, trousers with the athletic giant’s signature side stripes, worn with a tie leather and bamboo handbag. .
More than just sneakers, though there were some too, the stripes and trefoil leaves adorned brogues and high-heeled boots, bamboo bags, silk scarves, berets and baseball caps with double spout. They cut a green overcoat, a cream mohair ski bunny sweater set and mixed with GGs to create a graphic, op-art print. There was even a tricked out Adidas Victorian white satin dress.
“We share the stripes, the strap – it can’t be too similar,” Michele said, hinting at the possibility that instead of fighting for one brand, the brands may have come together, similarly. way Gucci turned Dapper Dan into a collaborator. “We also share the idea of sport chic, and that opened up a conversation,” the designer said.
Gimmicky, perhaps, but a lot of them looked really great – and rich, conjuring up images of Spike Lee decked out on the court, Richie Tenenbaum’s sweatband style, sleek IRL sportsmen like Stan Smith and… “Squid Game”.
Michele also pushed masculinity into more glam territory, with foiled trousers, wide studded belts and fur-trimmed capes, channeling bold dressers from David Bowie to Damiano David, and reiterating how today is not not serious.
On the kinkier side of gender expression, there were fetish lace catsuits and mega furs, see-through corsets and bras for all, and a stud-covered black leather suit. “Things that five years ago were just part of an underground life, now it’s mainstream culture,” marvels Michele.
“Fashion is like a kaleidoscope,” he continued, evoking his choice to use a trippy mirrored runway ensemble. “You can’t stop his power from changing.”