In the year of Gucci’s centenary, Alessandro Michele opens the locks of history, only to find a deeply personal vision of the mythology that surrounds the brand. Elements and inspiration are drawn from various points in time and space and made his own in a series of experiments carried out within the Creative Director’s so-called “hacking lab made of incursions and metamorphoses”—from his notes on the show—ultimately representing expressions of reverence and homage.
Turning an eye to heritage, equestrian references are both ubiquitous and unequivocal, appearing in accessories that transform into objects of desire, or even as actual horse-riding gear. Helmets are embellished with the words “Savoy Club” in a tribute to the Savoy Hotel in London where founder Guccio Gucci worked as a liftboy in his youth, observing the jet set that would, decades later, transport GG Canvas—another key theme in Aria—around the globe.
Nods to the aesthetic of previous Gucci Creative Director Tom Ford are present alongside pieces “pilfered” from Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga. Speaking to the staying power of the Maison and how profusely it contributed to the vocabulary of pop culture, lyrics from songs featuring the word Gucci can be found on a selection of styles.
The presence of light in Aria is pervasive and intentional, lining the runway and permeating the collection through sequined embroideries, crystallized on clutches shaped like anatomical hearts—a dazzling manifestation of what lies at the center of the House; what illuminates it from within. At the end of the Aria film, one such heart is tossed skywards, back to the universe, back to its origins. In his notes on the collection, the Creative Director says, “The myth of foundation is reinhabited in the light of the present.”