Gucci turns 100 and celebrates with a new collection: Gucci Aria. Creative director Alessandro Michele celebrated the heritage of the maison, by paying tribute to the cornerstones of the brand. But it also goes beyond. It transforms the past into something extremely contemporary. Everything complicitly with Balenciaga, in its role as honored guest.
“An alchemic plant filled with contaminations where everything touches everything else”, explains Mr. Michele. A stylistic heritage that is “celebrated and betrayed” through the revisiting processes of great classics, fantasies and iconic models of the brand. For example, those designed by Tom Ford, but also the unpublished collections inspired by Demna Gvasalia. The collaboration with Balenciaga (other brand of the Kering Group), announced during the last few days, was revealed to have both logos on accessories and clothing, to show exactly what it really is. In other words: “something born almost as a joke”, as explained by the two stylists.
The fashion show took place in the Hotel Savoy, located on the river Thames, which according to the company’s “legend”, the founder Guccio Gucci worked as a doorman. From there he went back to Florence and opened his small leather goods store. Beside from the location, the brand paid tribute to many other aspects of the brand’s history. For example, the founder’s monogram. Or the celebrated Flora pattern. And more: the horse-riding world is evocated by the bracket-shaped belt buckle on handbags and belts. The classic elements of the maison (shoes, horse-riding boots, bags), coexist with daring accessories (almost fetish), such as collars, whips, laces, corsets and leather buckles.
The short film that was co-directed by Alessandro Michele and Flora Sigismondi, presents the results of the “hacking laboratory”, as it was titled by the creative director. A collection that was able to “steal” from the past to evolve and connect to the present. It did so with a large number of leather accessories, such as fanny packs, handbags of different sizes and shapes, and jockey caps. Leather is also present in the apparel. Many pants in black leather, but also leather decorations on dresses, blouson, capes. The handbags were often decorated by exotic leather, either mono-colored or multi-color. The Jackie 1961 model, icon of the brand, is presented under the Balenciaga brand.
Balenciaga + Gucci
It’s surprising to see a product with a double logo by Gucci-Balenciaga, combining the two into a harmonic perfection that opens the door to new forms of business. Gucci Aria, didn’t disappoint, just the opposite. It’s the meeting point between classicism and excessiveness that finds balance and peacefulness.