Gucci Resort Collection for Fashion show London 2017
While the church the traditional place of coronations, nuptials and burials for British monarchs certainly bears the weight of history, Michele didn’t let it interfere with the show. Instead, he took a lighthearted, freewheeling approach to the country’s fashion legacy, absorbing punks, Scots, Victorian ladies and even Staffordshire dog figurines into his nerdish, retro-tinged fashion universe.
The choral soundtrack, including a haunting version of the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair,” only amplified the show’s emotional tug. Inspired by the English penchant for decoration, Michele let his colorful, more-is-more impulse run full throttle.
Guests sat on tasseled velvet and tapestry pillows embroidered with flowers, cats, rabbits and tigers lements that were patched onto everything from studded denim jackets and intarsia fur coats to delicate evening gowns.
Male and female models including Nineties runway stars Erin O’Connor, Jacquetta Wheeler and Hannelore Knuts strolled under the covered stone passages in their Gucci finery, their colors as bright as detergent packaging and the styling as unhinged as Shoreditch on a Friday night.
Michele spiked his fey, granny-ish aesthetic with embroidered hoodies, soccer jerseys, striped athletic socks and creepers with rainbow platforms, giving ensembles some streetwear muscle.
“I really love the English aesthetic and it’s something that belongs to my language,” he said backstage. “English culture is in a way very close to my beautiful chaos.”
He acknowledged that he thought he was dreaming when he considered Westminster Abbey as the venue.“It’s crazy because I think only in London can a church say ‘yes’ to a fashion show. I was thinking of a place that represents the spirit and the powerful beauty, I mean look at this place,” he marveled, pointing to an image of Elizabeth I in one of the soaring, stained-glass windows.
“Westminster Abbey is something very romantic in a way; it’s that kind of unknown Gothic place full of history,” he continued. “I also love the idea of Gothic, I always say that gothic came from Rome.”
The collection nimbly pinged between eras and moods a ravishing Forties-style polka-dot gown one minute, bleach-splattered jeans and logo T-shirts the next in a way that seems like second nature to Michele, who has rapidly wrenched Gucci from its pigeon-hole of jet-set, Capri chic.