Milan becomes ‘Micheleville’ as Gucci presents its S/S17 with Alessandro Michele delivering his signature maximalism. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports
With Gucci sales and profits on the up and the brand seeing new interest in its footwear offer, it’s clear that nobody will want to tamper with the winning formula Alessandro Michele has created in his four-season tenure at the label.
So it was yesterday as the season’s hottest ticket brightened up a rainy first day of Milan Fashion Week.
“The Gucci fantasy continues to be created through the enigmatic hands of Alessandro Michele, in a collection that brought together a starstruck compilation of wizardry,” as our own Head of Catwalks, Lizzy Bowring put it.
We were shown the Michele signature, his very personal mix of luxe and thrift shop with plenty of red carpet looks, as well as a whole portfolio of accessories inspiration and some commercial daywear looks hidden under layers of decoration.
The critics loved it, with Vanessa Friedman in the New York Times dubbing Milan “Micheleville”. Even so, there are some who are starting to question how long Gucci can continue to recreate the look without major change. But for now, their voices are being drowned out by the applause.
While the collection featured a lot that was to be expected, from Michele’s favourite heart, animal, floral and other motifs to the cardigan suits, the oversized sunglasses and heavily embellished ‘classic’ handbags. There were also some surprises.
Alongside some skinny 70s pantsuit silhouettes, we also got a move into 80s inspiration as Michele sent out cocktail and evening dresses that wouldn’t have looked out of place at a Reagan era inaugural ball. There was some pre-Victoriana in dresses that weren’t quite empire line and felt more Miss Havisham than Empress Josephine.
The athleisure effect was seen too with running pants layered under skirts and dresses (embellished or bow trimmed, of course) and a baseball kit that was more luxe than any baseball kit you’ve ever seen in creamy silk with the de rigueur embellishment.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the two-in-one shoe offer. Think ballet pumps or sock booties that sit inside a ‘sandal’ comprising a sole (flatform or stiletto) and held in place via lots of tiny straps.
It was one of those innovations that make you realise Michele may be revisiting a similar core look each season but it’s a look that certainly isn’t running out of steam just yet.
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