Gucci is about to get a Hollywood makeover. Ridley Scott, of Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise fame, has directed a juicy film starring Lady Gaga about the Italian family’s murderous history, which will be released later this month. In the trailer, she purrs, “It was a name that sounded so sweet, so seductive; synonymous with worth.” Of course, Gucci’s name has long been associated with Hollywood, and it was evident everywhere you looked at Alessandro Michele’s fabulous spring 2022 show.
Gwyneth Paltrow was in the front row, dressed in an updated version of the Tom Ford-designed red velvet Gucci tux she wore in 1996. There were a dozen celebrity “friends of Gucci” on the runway, including Macaulay Culkin, Miranda July, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Jared Leto, who stars in Scott’s film. The backdrop was the iconic Chinese Theater and Hollywood Boulevard itself, which Michele referred to as “that temple of the gods.”
Michele attributes his love of old Hollywood to his mother, who is a movie buff and works as an assistant in a production company. But this collection was also about contemporary Los Angeles, a city that the designer first visited when he was 27 and has a soft spot for. “LA isn’t a fashion city, but it’s incredibly fashionable,” he said backstage before the show. “Sometimes they are inappropriate, but when they are inappropriate, they are so precise.” Maybe it’s just my way of looking at fashion—unique it’s to me.”
When it came time to return to in-person shows after two seasons of virtual experiences necessitated by lockdowns, Los Angeles seemed the obvious choice. Seven years into his Gucci tenure, he’s presented in New York, Paris, Rome, and, most frequently, Milan, but Michele’s collections have never made more sense than tonight’s on Hollywood Boulevard, with its neon lights and Walk of Stars.
Michele revealed at the post-show press conference that he originally wanted to be a costume designer. He spent part of today at the newly opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, where he admired, among other things, a bow-covered Shirley Temple gown. On the subject of special occasion dresses, it’s safe to say he set a new standard for himself this season. With their cinematic sweep, if his gowns don’t end up in a museum, we’ll almost certainly see them on an awards show red carpet soon.
He’s absorbed all manner of Hollywood tropes with his hungry eye, and among the screen sirens were would-be stars fresh off the bus in calico dresses, with dreams as big as their 10-gallon cowboy hats. “My Hollywood is in the streets,” he said, and the sartorial-sporty mix of wide-lapeled jackets, brightly colored knit leggings, and running sneakers did look lifted from real life, combining post-pandemic polish with the famous California ease.
Regarding the sex-toy jewelry and the erotic undercurrent of skintight latex and see-through lace, Michele reminded the press conference audience that Gucci isn’t a “monarchy of bourgeois,” as many of its heritage brand peers are, but rather has its roots in the “jet-set, artists, and cinema.” Gaga nailed it. Very enticing.
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