Gucci celebrates 100 years with Michele’s ‘Aria’ collection

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Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the fashion house this year, giving a historic boost to a collection unveiled virtually Thursday that has embraced its equestrian heritage, borrowed references from the Tom Ford era and outright stolen from the French brand Balenciaga.

“Gucci was born under some kind of constellation because the power it wields is almost inexplicable,” Michele said during a video press conference.

The party took place in a film version of the Savoy Hotel in London, where the founder of fashion house Guccio Gucci was inspired to return home to Florence and open his own leather goods store, specializing in leather goods. travel bags he had admired while working as a bellboy. .

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The collection was called “Aria”, a reference to another Italian creation, lyric opera. The models walked long hallway runways outfitted with hundreds of flashing cameras tacked to the wall in place of absent paparazzi. A mix of Gucci-themed pop songs – proof, if needed, of the brand’s enduring relevance – provided the soundtrack.

The collection was virtually unveiled Thursday which embraced its equestrian heritage, borrowing references from the Tom Ford era. (Photo: AP)

The first look was a tear on Tom Ford’s 1996 red velvet suit, complete with a frizzy leather harness over a powder blue shirt. Michele said in notes that he had “plundered” the “sexual tension” of Ford’s decade at Gucci from 1994 to 2004.

“Tom understood from the start that Gucci had a kind of magnetism, that cult power,” Michele said.

Michele, who took over as artistic director of Gucci six years ago, has put a fetishized twist on the Gucci brand’s equestrian credentials, including riding caps, fringed leather ties, and mixed polished brooch boots. to glamorous sequined evening outfits, or subverted with erotic transparent dresses. mesh with logo. The models hung long jewelry from their noses.

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In one of the collection’s most surprising turns, Michele borrowed or hacked looks directly from Balenciaga, the Parisian fashion house owned by the same parent company, Kering. They included a version of the Balenciaga Jackie bag and a glittery silver suit emblazoned with both Gucci and Balenciaga.

This was the first collection of 2021 for Gucci, which left the fashion calendar and pledged to only present two collections per year. The video presentation remained strictly in track format for a year of pandemic experimentation that virtually shut down in-person broadcasts.

Reflecting on the marker of the century, Michele said that the magic of Gucci is its ability to redefine itself over time, without being beholden to a strictly defined image.

“I am trying to renew this brand, this name, this myth, this saga for the millionth time, because Gucci is a complex container that contains a lot, a lot of things,” Michele said.

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