28 September 2015

A Visual Alphabet of Gucci S/S16

A is for Alessandro Michele, of course
When Alessandro Michele was appointed the new creative director of Gucci at the beginning of this year, the fashion firmament expressed a certain surprise at the positioning of a relative unknown at the helm of the storied billion-dollar brand but he's certainly settled in well. "It’s incredibly beautiful to work on Gucci because I can translate all my passion—I can create the character I want. And I’m having a lot of fun.”

B is for Bugs of the Lady Variety
Rhinstoned on ties, the ladybird detail was one that stood out among birds, lips and stars. It serves as a contrast of sorts, giving a welcomed childish character to the prim and proper suits that they were styled with.

C is for Carpet Appreciation
The importance of set cannot be underestimated and devil is most certainly in the detail. Gucci's custom-made carpet was a floral offering with powder pink snakes slithering at the feet of the models and guests alike. The pattern also featured on garments but it was the carpet that prompted many an insta-opportunity for the front row-goers as they patiently waited for the show to commence.

D is for Dionysus
The it-bag reinvented with floral embroidery, snakeskin folds and a striking double Tiger-head closure. Not just the name of a bag gracing the toned arms of many an it-girl; Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology.

E is for Embroidered Invitations
Laser cut stock with familiar old school typewriter font inside a delicate pink organza envelope. To seal, each invite was hand-stitched individually with intricate red roses. Now, that's what I call an invitation.

F is for Furry Loafers
I've deemed this the perfect shoe for British summer. It's open back and fur-lined nature caters to the ever-changing temperatures. On the plus side, they also double up as the most dapper of slippers when you need to add some pazzazz to your loungewear. If you'd prefer, it comes raised on a pearl-studded heel for spring – standing for surrealism, androgyny and an avant-garde kind of luxury.

G is for Gold Gloves
Paired with a delicately embroidered dress, the glowing gave a fiery finesse to the prettified look. They're fingerless so probably won't suffice come the winter months but on the plus side, they're smart-phone friendly, so tap away.

H is for Horticultural Heroines
Printed, embroidered, jacquarded; daffodils, roses and tulips. S/S16 showcased its fair share of florals, reinvented and reinterpreted through varying fabrics and patterns making sure that everyone's flowery needs are satisfied.

I is for Intelligence-Oozing Specs
"Geek Chic" is a phrase inducing unavoidable cringes upon its muttering, so I won't go there. There was however, an air of intellectual and models boasting a look of unassuming confidence and power. Touché.

J is for Jacquard
Jacquards have an alluring quality, they're always around in their various forms and S/S16's jacquard star was the flared suit. Taking power-dressing to the next level, the togetherness of the look gave a professional allure with personality pouring out from the petals of the detailed flowers.

K is for Knitwear
Open knits were like blankets hugging the body in a rainbow of colours - albeit a muted, slightly metallic rainbow - but a rainbow nevertheless. It was a go hard or go home kind of situation with the knits, looks were either head to toe knitted coziness or there wasn't so much as a glimpse of it.

L is for Luggage With a Twist
The GG print gets a tropical makeover. If this doesn't make you want to find those acrylic paints that you put away in a box somewhere years ago, and get a little DIY painting project going, then I don't know what will. Note the monogrammed tag: chic and practical.

M is for Marrying Textures
Sequins, tulles, furs, jerseys, knits, PVC, snakeskins, satins... infinite options in more combinations that you can even begin to imagine, propelling 1975 into 2025 right before our eyes. Another point of note was the mix of well-placed sheer tulles with solid colours overlaid to protect one's dignity and reduction in body temperature, alike.

N is for Nod to the Seventies
It would appear that this trend still isn't going anywhere, it lives to endure another season in all its nostalgic glory. Alessandro said that he was “Looking at a 1970’s way to do fabric from the 18th century. Trying to use this kind of vocabulary to write a new story.”

O is for Oriental Overload
The set was a dead giveaway that luxurious satins with floral embroidery and pyjama dressing was soon to appear. Alessandro Michele’s eclectic Gucci woman travels the world in search of extravagant opulence. These rich fabrics, said intricate embroidery and eccentric dress codes were Gucci's not to "China: Through The Looking Glass".

P is for Power of the Pussy-bow
A detail that should be treated like an accessory, it holds the power to transform a modest blouse while transcending time and place through its inability to go out of fashion. A timeless statement of elegance and undeniably effortless style, it's been heroically heralded by Michele and enthusiastically embraced by the Gucci woman.

Q is for Quirky Berets
Every collection has its, shall we say "questionable" elements (except Dolce AW13, for that collection can do no wrong) and the beret is just that in this case. Not even a breton stripe could save it, sorry.

R is for Railway Station
The new Gucci show space found its home in an old rail station, Scalo Farini; neon lit with a runway stretching along the old train platform. Guests sat on jewelled fabric black bamboo chairs which lined the runway, while screen dividers upholstered with prints from the collection decorated the room.

S is for Sophisticated Serpents
It coiled down the spine of outfit after outfit, toxic but entrancing. Its symbolic nature could scarcely be lost on a designer who is so engaged by the meaning of signs. They were particularly wonderful on shoe heels and could've potentially been the saviour of the platforms (see T, below).

T is for T-bar Platforms, and lots of them
Very Miu Miu, very Saint Laurent... just very done already in this context. Maybe I'm just being cynical, the colours were nice with laser cut-outs detailing and you've got to give them credit for the sheer amount of them that they banged out in one show, must've made some kind of record there.

U is for Underwear (lack of)
It's fine when you're a model on a catwalk but these particular garments are most certainly not advisable for everyday wear. Not without suitable vesting/slip options anyway to protect both your dignity and body-temperature. Not a practical option for us all.

V is for Vintage-Inspired Everything
Elton John wire frame glasses, raspberry berets, brooches, pins, clips, rings, bags and bitsies. Time to hit your local car boot and raid your Granny's wardrobe, if you haven't done so already that is. The old look of the new Gucci has already been firmly established as a roaring success but this just further confirms it.

W is for Weather Warning
The heavens opened and fashion show attendees were lashed with driving rain and hurried inside by the gusting winds. Once comfortably seated, the show began with a clap of thunder as the models paraded out one by one. A lighting motif also features heavily, as though a nod to rock 'n' roll.

X is for X-marks The Spot 
Alessandro called the show 'Carte de Tendre' which translates to "the map of the land of tenderness". It's of course referring to Madeleine de Scudéry's 1654 map, which was designed for her novel Clélie, a drawn map of a female emotion that shows how the road to tenderness winds via the village of love letters, and maps how a small detour could lead to a sad end in the lake of indifference. 

Y is for Yellow Suit
It's like a halo effect on the whole body, the cut of the jacket and flow of the trousers radiating with the model's movement like a bright summer's day. Sounds cheery, cause that's what a yellow suit does. It's jazzy enough to make even Mick Jagger blush.

Z is for Zingy Prints
Mixed and matched in all manner of combinations, the prints injected live into the designs. More impressively, they didn't completely distract from the precisions of cuts, quality of the fabrics and attention to detail.