It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what makes fashion work, but having a strong vision that sits well with your audience undoubtedly helps. In this collection, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele used the term “phantasmagoric” (meaning something conjured from fantasy or imagination) to describe the basis of his imagination as well as the collection. And that it was: a marvellous fantastical concoction of wild colours and textures.
Michele cited a party by Linda Ramone at LA’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery as the source of his inspiration for this collection, and as the models traipsed out in their brilliantly over-the-top get-ups, one could easily envision them as otherworldly characters coming alive in a funhouse after midnight, and getting up to all sorts of mischief and decadence.
Named “Magic Lanterns”, the show opened in complete darkness. This was followed by streaks of neon light flashing through the venue, and a narration of William Blake poems by Florence Welch that was punctuated with almost operatic climaxes – every outfit that turned up on the runway presented an opportunity for an Instagram moment.
What about the collection was Insta-worthy? Let’s start with the turban-like headgear paired with oversized embellished glasses that were at once kooky and nerdy. As a whole, the outfits were visually overloaded walking billboards – there was a lot going on. The magic began when you took the ensemble apart and zoomed in on the intricate embroidery, bold jewels hanging from ears, a brocade backpack, an extravagant mink coat with zebra intarsia on both sides, or a silky Chinoiserie pyjama set.
If there was one word that could be used to describe the collection, it would be “riotous”. Although the designer said he desired using the same language to express a new chapter of his story, no outfit here appeared to be an afterthought or a repeat from earlier collections. The sizzle of novelty was missing, but the results remained theatrical and rich in craftsmanship. Whether it was the punchy colour scheme, the almost fanatical obsession to design each outfit down to the rose-strewn insoles, or the manipulation of rich fabrics, all the elements worked gloriously to make a fantastical world come alive.
Check out the SS'17 Dossier in the February 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore (out now on newsstands and Magzter).