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“Gucci under Alessandro Michele is the embodiment of cool,” Fantastic Man consulting editor, ES Magazine columnist, long-term Gucci collaborator and forever LN-CC family member Willy Ndtaria (aka William Cult) tells us over email. “He brings his own twist to fashion history and past eras.” Season after season throughout his seven-year tenure, Alessandro Michele’s far-reaching encyclopedia of references has taken us across cultures, centuries and continents. From Ancient Rome to 70s London, Ancient Greece to Instagram and beyond, the Creative Director has continually pushed possibilities, ignited imaginations and stirred senses while blurring the boundaries between past, present and future.
In 2021, when it was time for the luxury House to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Alessandro Michele used the opportunity to reflect on his personal vision of the Gucci mythology within the Aria collection. “Gucci is constantly reborn, recreated, and pop," he told WWD back in April last year, when asked about the collection. “Everyone will be invited to this birthday party,” he then explained in a post-show video conference. “It is an ultra-pop party focused on the brand’s DNA,” he continued. “I wanted to create a rebirth for this brand; for this myth, for this saga.” Enriching the narrative of the House that Guccio Gucci founded in 1921, Alessandro Michele cut, pasted, manipulated and reimagined a revolving kaleidoscope of elements and inspirations drawn from various points in time, space and consciousness, including the iconic silhouettes and codes of Balenciaga in a project that he describes in his notes on the show as a “hacking lab made of incursions and metamorphoses” ultimately representing expressions of reverence and homage.
“Fashion is a wonderful illusion that is a dialogue between shapes, between colours, between interactions,” the Creative Director explained in the behind-the-scenes Tommaso Bertani-shot film that documented the making of the collection. Throughout Aria, he pushes the dialogue to its most captivating extreme by developing on-going reflections on his output and of those before him, while looking to the possibilities of tomorrow. Placing his filter over the House archive, equestrian references are both ubiquitous and unequivocal, appearing as accessories. The GG canvas is continually a medium of expression, as well as sartorial silhouettes.
“When I hear the word Gucci, I instantly think of the Gucci Gang,” Ndatira tells LN-CC. “That gang includes Tyler the Creator, A$AP Rocky, Celeste, Zumi Rosow, the artist Ariana Papademetropoulos, Bethann Hardison and many, many more. Alessandro collaborates with some amazing people and brings us together at shows or through various projects,” he adds. His vision is both infectious and inspiring. After Lil Pump’s Gucci Gang was remixed for the show soundtrack, alongside Rick Ross’ Green Gucci Suit, and Bhad Bhabie’s Gucci Flip Flops among others, Gucci revealed that the House name has been mentioned in more than 22,000 songs since 1921. “Gucci was born under some kind of constellation, because the power it holds is nearly inexplicable,’’ Alessandro Michele has explained. “It has some kind of magnetism, this cult power.”
“In Gucci, you dance like everybody is watching, because they are,” Ndatira tells over email, speaking from his own experience. Inspired by the House’s celebratory moment, LN-CC asked London-based director Joseph Delaney to shoot the collection in motion. As we follow his lens inside a London townhouse, we become voyeurs watching a snapshot of a couple wrapped up in Gucci and one another.