MILAN — Gucci offered another January surprise to kick off Milan Fashion Week on Friday, in its menswear promotion, taking a new direction following the departure of Alessandro Michele as creative director.
Much like Michele’s low-key debut eight years ago at the helm of the in-house team, Gucci’s runway show that heralded the new post-Michele era was an understated affair, quietly reshaping the codes of the brand founded in Florence more than a century ago as a luggage company.
Under Michele, fantasy soared with ever-escalating artistry and layers of embellishment in romantic collections that blurred gender barriers and intellectually challenged the fashion crowd with notes that referenced sometimes obscure thinkers.
Those embellishments have been removed, at least for now, with an easy-to-read collection.
Some of the highlights from Friday’s shows:
Gucci began its post-Michele era with a collection that refined a palette that carried hints of his influence, but which went in a decidedly new and free direction.
Devoid of eccentricity, the collection brought Gucci back to a set of basics with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe backed by a live performance of American guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog in the center of the amphitheater. Guests in the front rows were Nick Cave with his wife Susie, Canadian actor Percy Hynes White, who appears in the Netflix hit “Wednesday”, British actor Idris Elba and South Korean singer Kai.
Basic looks included oversized jackets with paper tops worn with flared trousers or long johns tucked into bright cowboy boots, with a focus on leg warmers. The color palette was muted, denim and khaki, gray and canary yellow, purple and icy blue.
There were still genderless references, but they were more glam rock than necessarily for the they/them demographic. The poet’s shirt had a deep, sexy V, but no pussy bow; Short-sleeved shirts and mohair sweaters were sheer, while long skirts seemed deconstructed from trousers and were paired with striped rugby shirts.
Many of these looks could fit into Michele’s catwalk, but they would certainly be layered with ideas, memories and memories expressed through unusual motifs and elaborate accents. The new collection, with its elongated, roomy silhouette and masculine edge, seen in oversized mechanical overalls and motorcycle combinations, will be a more comfortable fit for many.
The collection was designed by an in-house team that did not bow out after the show.