Feb 21, 2018
Gucci’s mysterious Mayo Clinic in Milan
Feb 21, 2018
Staged on the outskirts of city in Gucci’s official show space, the lime-green-walled set was hung with surgical light-heads, just like in an advanced operating room. Through this Mayo Clinic mockup, green operating tables, placed carefully on red rubber mats. Gucci’s emblematic colors going under the surgeon’s knife.
The invitation was a ticking box. The countdown to Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s latest show began last week. Fittingly, the soundtrack began with the Stabat Mater, a medieval Catholic hymn to Mary which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ’s mother.
However, surgeon Michele’s hospital staff was far from depressed. Anything but, instead they formed the latest enigmatic twist to his maximalist vision of fashion. A collection inspired by an incident – or hoax – involving the discovery of a baby dragon in a jar in a garage in Oxfordshire.
One model in crystal studded black velvet priestly garb actually carried a Game of Thrones mini dragon in their arms, almost as a pet. While a young lady model marched with a faux red striped snake – a three-dimensional image of the Michele snake that has crawled across thousands of contemporary Gucci bags. Most memorably, a red-haired gent in a Chesterfield coat actually carried an exact copy of his own head. “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy,” to quote Shakespeare in a monologue on mortality from Hamlet. The Immortal Bard could have been describing Michele himself!
Though, this was far from a historical show, with a bespectacled intellectual lady in a gray boxy suit with NY (as in the Yankees baseball script) emblazoned on their chest; the ladies in combinations of reimagined vintage clothes and sporty street styles. A Chinese dowager her head covered in pink logo lace might follow a budding intellectual writer from Brooklyn dressed in a ribbed 1950s grandfather knit jumper; gents in voluminous harlequin print coats came after a couple of Chanel style four-pocket jackets in either frayed tweed or – rather marvelously – done in micro red sequins. A marvelous snooker table green smoking jacket with Chinese toggles hinted of a certain patrician wackiness; while the NY Yankee-like logos on an Austrian Trachten knot jackets or pink school marm suits, kept the humorous quotient high.
Heads covered in daffy ski mask, with cut out eyes, or Babylonian turbans. For party time, silk blouses cut out of massive bows or a great looking interlinked G print top; or best of all, pearl and crystal fantasy dresses worthy of a Maharani on a shopping spree in Paris. For day, classic pinstripe suit and logo tote, all covered by a plastic trench coat. The same plastic covering used over huge flat weekend totes.
No question about it; this collection will keep business super brisk at Gucci, the fastest growing luxury brand on the planet today. Fans will run to the cash registers. Kindly recall that annual turnover of Gucci grew last year a phenomenal 42% to 6.211 billion euros. Michele’s cast, however, never went anywhere near the operating table, in probably Michele’s most diverse collection to date.
A ticking clock – like the one in the invitation – kept reappearing on the soundtrack, before Doctor Alessandro took his bow in worn jeans and a pale blue work shirt. A moderate roll of applause, and no final tour of the whole cast. The audience sitting in their seats for several minutes not quite sure whether the show was actually finished. And a curiously quiet ending to such an elaborate show.
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