What is remarkable about the presentation of the Gucci 100 collection is how little it has to do with the past. The digital event presenting the fashion house’s new capsule collection is not a nod to Tom Ford‘s cultural dominance of the 1990s. Nor does it draw from the status-seeking Hollywood elite of the 1950s. Or the make-believe claims to Italian nobility of founder Guccio Gucci. This has little to do with the Gucci family feud of the 1980s soon to be documented in Lady Gaga-starring House of Gucci. Instead, Gucci 100 takes full flight into creative mastermind Alessandro Michele‘s imagination.
Gucci 100 is a manifestation of self-expression
In past, Alessandro Michele’s poetic pronunciations have seemed, at times, clumsy. Now, his words and vision click. He makes good on what he has long promised. That is a singular vision of a Gucci free from the bonds of fashion’s cliches. One aligning timeless truths of youth, art and popular culture.
Connections accentuated by a close association with music. “I recognized the manifestation of [Gucci’s] youth in it having intercepted and traversed, for one hundred years now, popular culture in all its forms,” Michele shares. “Above all, in music, the only medium, aside from fashion, more reactive to the times that mutate and mark the new, the today, the now.”
Notable is the lack of the presence of musical celebrities. Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and recent addition to the Gucci Gang Miley Cyrus. A sharp contrast to Balenciaga‘s recent red carpet parading of celebrities and eye-rolling Simpsons collaboration, Gucci 100 champions self-expression. Gucci at its core is about high-quality luxury goods. Here was see a continuation of archival looks, contemporary streetwear, futurism, and bold colour.
This mohair cardigan throws back to ’90s grunge yet could be of no other era but today’s
What makes Gucci unique
Gucci celebrates individuality. When Alessandro Michele took the helm of the brand in 2011, Gucci has distanced itself from traditional runway events. Increasingly, Gucci places emphasis on pop-up stores and digital spectacles. It creates environments that cultivate desire for its luxury products.
As the Gucci 100 collection shows, the fashion house now surpasses the outmoded and wasteful extravagance of runway fashion. Gucci made a final break from these events in 2020. The departure has not been without friction. Building an identity away from the centres of the modern fashion world has been a daunting task.
Yet this breakup is unquestionably worth the risk. Gucci 100 establishes that as far as luxury fashion is concerned the brand’s dominance draws on more than celebrity endorsements and by-the-numbers sales. The Gucci phenomenon is a full-blown pop culture event.
This suit melds the ’60s velvet with disco era flares and Gucci’s own Horsebit motif
Gucci 100 lets creativity run wild
Now with Gucci 100, we have a further refinement of the new Gucci myth. A flight into fantasy comparable to those seen Dianna Vreeland‘s tenure as Vogue‘s larger-than-life editor in the 1960s. Or the fictional embellishments contained with Coco Chanel’s self-created biography.
This collection is grounded in the past that never was. For one thing, despite featuring several 1970s disco-inspired looks in the collection, Gucci was still focused on handbags, travel cases, and leather accessories at this time. The fashion house did not launch its first ready-to-wear collection until the 1980s. What is more, Gucci was never closely associated with jazz in the 1920s. Or music’s the goth and new romantic movements of the 1980s.
Yet this collection is well suited to our current needs for spectacle on a grand scale. Gucci 100 is an appeal to the eye and to emotion. Creativity has run wild to create a poetic opera surrounding what remains in essence high-quality consumer goods.
A Gucci model displays a floral jacquard jacket and Horsebit 1955 bag
What makes Gucci so special
And if anything tethers to brand to its past it is the high standards to which Gucci holds itself. “Quality,” the fashion house’s founder Guccio Gucci once said, “is remembered long after price is forgotten.” Gucci’s quality threads not simply through its fashion but the creation of its own ongoing story. This collection is a testament to the power of imagination.
The true stars are the clothes themselves
Dazzling collisions of influence
Timeless or simply timely? Time will tell