After spending the last year paying tribute to France through a 1968-inspired Fall 2018 campaign, an eerie Renaissance resort collection shown in Arles, and a Spring 2019 celebration of Parisian nightlife at Le Palace, Gucci has returned to Milan. Alessandro Michele brought the brand back to its home fashion city today for Fall 2019, and while the territory was familiar, the creative director took a major journey when it came to his designs.
Under Michele, Gucci has earned renewed attention for its maximalism, Renaissance inspiration, and willingness to get a little weird. Last February's romp had models carrying their own heads, the Arles resort show explored the concept of death through a historical lens, and the Parisian nightclub event featured plenty of over-the-top frills. This season, the designer envisioned a different direction, so he threw an edgy afternoon masquerade. Models walked beside a wall of flashing lights in an otherwise dark space, and accessories including glass teardrops, spiked collars, and golden ear covers took center stage.
The clothing itself stuck to Michele's maximalist use of fabrics, mixing shiny dresses with neon lace tights, tailored suit pieces, and a lighter dose of ruffles than in the past. But amidst all this noise, the collection's true stars were the masks, which ranged from opaque masquerade allusions to all-consuming metallic animals. This theme was in reference to Hannah Arendt's 1958 book The Human Condition, which references the ambiguous potential of appearance. By mixing his quirky basics with intimidating accessories, Michele certainly accomplished this goal, showing how his collection can at once be jarring and familiar.
One can only wonder what Gucci's next campaign will look like as the brand travels into a new iteration of its aesthetic. Will the models be taking on nightlife in a whole new way? Will the brand hire a famous rebel as its latest face? Who knows, but Michele's quirk is officially the coolest aesthetic in town.
View the full collection, below.