Gucci’s Alessandro Michele combines women’s and menswear in a riot of flora and fauna

Gucci’s autumn-winter 2017 show in Milan was the label’s first unisex event and focused on flowers and animals, with a nod to Alexander McQueen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 12:32pm

It was like looking through the giant windows of a futuristic palm house into a wondrous botanical world, with animals and flowers printed, woven, embroidered or knitted and worn in eclectic combinations by willowy models.Alessandro Michele indulged his love for flora and fauna, which included his signature bee on leather bags and biker jackets.

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It was a new season, a new venue and a new format for Gucci, which showed men’s and womenswear together (all 120 looks) for the first time in Gucci’ s new headquarters. It wasn’t a surprise given the gender fluidity of previous collections, which remains unchanged judging by the floral hosiery, wild flower print tailoring, embroideries on a city coat, and sparkly wrestler’s leotards.

The invitation was a vinyl record with the message on the cover ‘What are we going to do with all this future?’ Florence Welch, Michele’s muse, and A$AP Rocky read texts from William Blake and Jane Austen on the tracks. Welch sat in the front row with Jared Leto and Chris Lee.

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There were references to Alexander McQueen in both the huge glass hothouse set with the ever changing coloured lights evocative of early McQueen theatrical spectacles, right down to the head covering sparkly silver catsuits.

Michele’s vision is a mash-up of disparate parts with an underlying ’80s aesthetic. A country check jacket is slipped over a long floral print skirt worn with embroidered hosiery and a Japanese parasol, but the combinations are cleaner and more simple, and occasionally show an Eastern influence. There are lots of pieces drawn from Gucci’s heritage including the Gucci slogan as headbands or a vest, worn with ripped jeans, with a slogans irreverently drawn all over the Gucci logo.

Accessories included stacks of giant rings and hand jewellery and three-tiered strapping together of handbags. The handbags featured insects from butterflies to bees. Suitcases and a man’s long johns were branded with the Gucci logo.