Milan Fashion Week

Alessandro Michele's second Gucci collection powerfully feminine

After new creative director's androgynous debut, Italian fashion house returns to form with retro looks inspired by a 17th century "map of love"

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 2:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 2:16pm

Gucci opened Milan fashion week with a vibrant show of womenswear. After the androgynous looks of his debut, this was a powerfully feminine collection from Alessandro Michele.

The looks in the fashion house’s spring/summer 2016 collection were centuries away from the molto sexy Studio 54 looks created by Michele’s predecessors, even if it did feature some ’70s-style lurex sweaters. Nevertheless, the collection made reference to early house codes such as the signature forest green and red trim and the GG monogrammed handbags, embellished this season with lips and lightning bolts.

The collection was inspired by the Carte de Tendre – a "map of love", published in 1654 by  French writer Madeleine de Scudéry, and which featured as a print on one of the dresses. It was an exuberant mash-up, Chinese embroidered silks paired with knitted lurex, metallic leather, tiered chiffon and luxurious upholstery brocades that echoed the richly decorated interior of the set, with its 1.5km-long, snake-print carpet, upholstered chairs and fabric-covered divans. These were worked into 1940s and 1970s style dresses and tie-neck blouses, midi skirts and tailored trouser suits with animal- and flower-embroidered appliqués that gave the sense that this collection  was Michele’s labour of love.