When Alessandro Michele was appointed at the helm of Gucci at the beginning of last year, there were many that were completely shocked and quite miffed at the arrival of this relative newcomer at the helm of the mega popular designer brand. Within a month, the multifaceted young designer created a womenswear collection for Gucci that was a huge departure from his predecessor Frida Giannini yet felt more whole, extensive, exciting and diverse than anything that was happening a season before.
My love affair with the brand started when I moved to New York in the 90s and Tom Ford was doing amazing things at the helm of an extremely desirable and overtly sexy Gucci . Still, when Alessandro's first collection came down the Gucci runway, my face may as well had turned into a heart shaped eyes emoji, since the instinct wasn't so much: "I want this" , but an overwhelming: "OMG! This is amazing! I need this! When is it dropping? Can I call the store and reserve NOW?" It made no sense. Here were clothes and accessories that were as eclectic as they were beautiful, as Wes Anderson kooky as they were flowing and cinematic, as gorgeously nerdy as they were iconic. Here was a style that didn't scream practicality yet produced an immediate emotion of excitement and desireability.
The way I explain it ( and have justified to myself the numerous purchases from Gucci since ) was that I witnessed a significant moment, a turnaround in the way women respond to fashion. Whereas I think so many of us are so wrapped up in building matching wardrobes by acquiring simple basics and quality staples; this was an abrupt intrusion into that frame of mind. It showed that no matter how much lamè, floral, sequin, embroidery or animal motifs there are layered on top of each other ; it can work and it can look really good - it is possible to build a wardrobe around gorgeous ott pieces in a way more original and fresh than practicality could ever muster. On second glance something else became apparent: Alessandro created his own practicality by meshing amazing pieces together and creating his own staples of comfort ( enter the slippers, mules and beautiful loafers ). It became easy to be a bohemian bird of paradise with the new Gucci classics - all it took was some iconic pieces and the right attitude. Some of his items became a legitimate craze for women; I personally hunted the fur lined slippers around the world like some sort of crazed fashion stalker.
When Gucci approached me to do a story on the launch of the new gucci.com website and it's lust worthy accessories , I couldn't think of a more exciting project. Not only am I obsessed with the brand but the sensibility of the new aesthetic made me decide to style this project entirely out of my vintage collection. The accessories are so intricate and breath taking, the detailing impeccably gorgeous. To herald the launch of the new, fully shoppable Gucci website all the product links you see in this post lead you directly to the new online store. We shot this as an ode to the new Gucci girl - a wild thing with beauty, brains and enough pizazz to keep a room captive. Hope you enjoy! x
When a snake as pretty as this one slithers atop GG Supreme canvas (made using an earth conscious process) plus snakeskin and tiger head detailing ; who wouldn't bite the apple? (Dionysus GG Supreme embroidered bag , vintage jewellery and dress )
Platforms make their return this season as a perfect pairing to flares, suits and anything 70s inspired. Gucci's vertiginous offering comes replete with spiky studs and the signature tiger head. Don't forget to cinch everything in with the iconic CC logo belt
More is more this season, so make like a Gucci girl by gathering all your sequin, velvet, rhinestone and print , then mix and match with wild abandon - life is too short not to!
photography and video by Alice Wesley-Smith
Styling and direction by Tanja Gacic