Sometimes I forget how much I love fashion. Part of this can be blamed on the pandemic, the other part is my stage in life; busy mom with two young kids who dresses for comfort and spills more than for herself. But yesterday I experienced Alessandro Michele’s latest collection for Gucci, named Gucci Aria, and that spark that started in me in high school especially, when I’d buy Vogue and tear out and pin up photos, was reignited. I felt this sense of joy and excitement, and that is precisely what fashion should deliver to all of us. The complaint that designer fashion isn’t everyday wearable is up to each person, as one day you can surely be in sweats (as I am now) and the next you are dressed in a runway look. You should dress for yourself and wear items that make you feel good and happy.
Speaking of which, the entire Gucci Aria collection brought me such excitement. In fact, it astounded me so much that I rewatched it a few times, delved through the detail shots, and have been really anticipating your thoughts so we can all discuss. Is this collection for the majority of us when it comes to everyday wear? No. But it probably wasn’t intended to be. There are key pieces that will continue to be talked about for years to come. A lot of talk revolves around Alessadro Michele’s vision of a “hacking lab” in which Michele experimented with Balenciaga designs for the Aria collection that will be sure to bring many different thoughts. There’s also novelty bags that we haven’t seen from the House of Gucci but I greatly enjoy. There’s so much to unpack, and in this case, you must watch the show and then take a look at the detail shots as well.
Gucci Aria isn’t just a collection, it’s also a collection that celebrates 100 years of Gucci. Though Gucci Aria celebrates the centenary year of Gucci, Michele remarked that “Gucci’s long history can’t be contained within a single inaugural act. As any other existence, its destiny is marked by a long series of “endless births” (M. Zambrano) and constant regenerations.”
There is quite the element of celebration throughout the collection, with glittering clothes and attention-grabbing materials. There’s a sense of the party about the start, as the film for the collection shows the first model opening the doors to the initial runway (reminiscent of the Savoy doors which pays homage to the history of Gucci). The corridor is filled with cameras and lights, both flashing and neon. And while this seems to be the party, with photographers snapping every moment, the actual party is beyond the next set of doors: outside amongst nature, an ethereal view into the “feast of air, a jubliee of breath.”
In this sense, Gucci becomes for me a hacking lab, made of incursions and metamorphoses. An alchemical factory of contaminations where everything connects to anything. A place where thefts and explosive reactions happen: a permanent generator of sparkles and unpredictable desires. On this occasion, then, I want to honour my filial affection betraying the legacy that was handed down to me. Because the promise of a never-ending birth is only renewed through an evolving capacity.
As for the clothing and accessories, there is everything, and I mean everything. Alessandro Michele unpacked nods to the House’s codes over the last 100 years, with a heavy emphasis on equestrian details that can be seen throughout, along with other designs including bamboo, the monogram, and classic Gucci tailoring. A coveted Balenciaga bag shape with Gucci detailing, a Jackie with the Balenciaga name across it which is also part of Michele’s hacking. Full length GG monogram coats. Nose rings with the GG emblem as well. The other bags were mostly House classics with sometimes quite daring twists. Another standout is the all-over-crystal Heart Clutches, novelty bags not expected from Gucci, but somehow perfectly fitting for the collection. The playlist of songs all featured the word Gucci, which speaks to the staying power and importance of the brand in pop culture and vocabulary.
This is a show you need to watch, without a distraction around you. The creativity, playfulness, and youthfulness while still paying homage to a brand that is celebrating it’s 100th birthday happened in 15 minutes. Let’s talk Gucci Aria together!