Fashion

Gucci Unveils the Gucci Aria Collection, With A Little Help from Balenciaga

Gucci's first runway show of its centenary features festive looks and a high-fashion "hacking-lab" where Balenciaga and Gucci unite.
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Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the eponymous Italian fashion house celebrates its centenary this year. Returning to the runway to mark this milestone, Creative Director Alessandro Michele presents Gucci Aria, a fashion flm directed by Floria Sigismondi, full of bright lights, bold looks, and Gucci-themed music. The latter was especially important for this collection, which gets its name from the musical term aria—a melody sung in solo, usually in an opera. While the hip hop and dance tracks from Lil Pump ("Gucci Gang"), Rick Ross and Future ("Green Gucci Suit"), Bhad Bhabie ("Gucci Flip Flops" feat. Lil Yachty), and more are far from the crescendoing voices of the opera, they set the tone for the party-ready assortment of sequined and feathered clothes.

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Image: Courtesy of Gucci
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Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Post-pandemic dressing has been on many designers' minds this season, and Gucci's glamorous Fall/Winter 2021 lineup celebrates this not-so-distant future as well as a century-long past. The Italian house has endured not only a global pandemic, but also a World War and all of the monumental moments of the 20th and 21st centuries since its founding. Not to mention, the Gucci name has had its fair share of scandals—namely the murder of the founder's grandson and one time head of the maison Maurizio Gucci, who's name is now back in the spotlight thanks to the buzzworthy upcoming biopic.

Michele has also generated plenty of buzz for Gucci over his six-year tenure at the helm. With this collection, conversation began bubbling a few days before Gucci Aria's debut about a possible collaboration with the house of Balenciaga. The proof appeared on the runway with dual-branded ensembles courtesy of Michele and Balenciaga Creative Direcor Demna Gvsalia. Born from Michele's idea of a "hacking lab," these pieces take Balenciaga's iconography and co-opt it for the Aria.

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Image: Courtesy of Gucci

These "hacked" looks appear alongside clothes that embody the Gucci codes Michele has established. Retro '70s silhouettes, elements of bondage, and also nods to the equestrian appear throughout. According to the designer, when he reflected on 100 years of Gucci, he wanted to include "elements from how I envision the mythology of the brand.”

See every look from the Gucci Aria collection here:

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