May 10, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Jun 03, 2016
By WGSN Insider
It’s hard to impress in a building that’s been standing since the 13th century and that has hosted the coronation of every British monarch since then. But Alessandro Michele did just that yesterday as he showed Gucci’s Resort (pre-summer) 2017 collection.
He may not have had a global audience as large as that for the last royal wedding but on a day that saw sadness with the demise of BHS, he managed to inject an upbeat mood into the fashion sector.
Michele sent out a large number of looks that continued his eclectic signature style and moved it on with inspiration for the Anglophile designer being part-Victorian, part-British eccentricity, part-King’s Road punk, part-tongue-in-cheek royal homage (complete with royalty-off-duty headscarves).
But while that may seem like a recipe for madness, what it actually gave us were plenty of reference points for a new pre-season that will be snapped up by Gucci customers new and old and that the wider industry will take as inspiration.
While high-end denim and high street denim often have little in common, the bleached jeans shown here looked ultra-commercial, whether they came with Michele’s favourite flora and fauna motifs or not.
Also inspiring were the multicolour snakeskin or structured bags, the loafers with Union Jack upper, the lace footless tights, the geometric prints and embellishments, the leaping leopard motifs contrasted with solid plaid for eveningwear, the punk studded jackets and much more.
Michele mixed high and low, continuing his embellishment obsessions from beaded writhing snakes to all-over sequins, heavy studding and oversized pearls (the latter two working beautifully on a pair of flat slides).
He confirmed a footwear trend that was equally strong last pre-season – multiple straps. They came as a series of straps around a longer, pointed-toe ankle boot (working particularly well when those straps were converted into a Michele-style snake motif) or as standalone straps on shoes, wrapping themselves around the lower leg.
To partner the jeans for casual days, there were Gucci logo oversized sweats and tees, or a Union Jack sweater, while for more formalwear, royal-influenced boxy suits and tartan skirts looked faux conservative and were trimmed with tiny tailored frills or embellished with the collection’s favourite motifs, while pantsuits gave Gucci customers a perfect bridge between day and evening.
And for full-on evening, the beauty of banded lace, ruffle-trimmed satins, and embellished animal motifs on a plain or checked backgrounds gave us red carpet dresses with a difference.
Speaking about the collection, our WGSN Head of Catwalks, Lizzy Bowring noted it was: “A Resort collection that had no parallel with any other, either before or in the future. Everything from the venue of Westminster Abbey, to the background chorals from choir Schola Cantorum singing Scarborough Fair; there was no detail left out, no detail not reimagined and every beautiful detail contributed to the sum of a whole new look – British eccentricity. Thank you Alessandro – the collection for Gucci was quite gorgeous.”
It was a display that may be forgotten come next coronation/royal wedding but it was also one that the fashion industry won’t forget for a long time.
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