After seven years at the brand, Creative Director Alessandro Michele announced his departure, leaving a legacy of unabashed glamour and whimsical references. It’s the brand’s first show without a creative director in 3 years and in that juxtaposition of fitted and oversized looks, therein lies a key message: the fluidity of the House is here to stay albeit interpreted through a lens of collaboration.
Presenting its Fall Winter 2023 menswear collection at Milan Fashion Week, Gucci’s latest ensembles are actually designed by an in-house design team that was closely linked to Michele. In his absence, design became an inevitable collaborative team effort within the House: Gucci Fall Winter employs the circumstance of improvisation as a methodology: a constructive tool for creation. As a practice exercised in theatre and music, improvisation is founded in the know-how of its practitioners.
When prompted to freestyle, performers often access and activate the intuition of their craft. Embracing the curiosity and candour carried by improvised ideas, the collection is a natural reflection of the individualities represented by the multi-faceted creatives and craftsmen who inhabit the house of Gucci; who draw on diverse knowledge, skill and imagination in the creation of a bigger picture.
Visually, that leitmotif is presented by way of flowing trousers and hemlines, as if to say, Gucci’s responsiveness to a global awakening and movement is not merely a product of zeitgeist but also a testimonial that fashion is meant to be worn not just as a luxury statement but also comfort.
Improvisational fashion according to Gucci
Archetypes of the classic gentleman’s wardrobe have been redefined through an artisanal yet subversive lens of improvisation and the perspective of masculinity according to Gucci. From cut knees on oversized suits to white tank tops with plunging necklines, there was an emphasis on sexiness, a hallmark previously set by Tom Ford, the brand’s former Creative Director. The willingness to bare is an honesty that can be mistaken for insouciance if one wasn’t familiar with the House. Reminiscent of Ford’s influence on Gucci, the ‘sexy’ collection showed which rules can be bent and which can be broken or subsumed.
Voluminous yet tailoring silhouettes come equipped with detachable elements allowing the wearer to transform them into sleeveless jackets and shorts. The free and boundless facets of contemporary masculinities are observed in garments cross-pollinated – either in construction or styling – from traditionally contrasting wardrobes: sportswear informed by Gucci’s 1980s archives evoke the codes of dance, while motorcycling garments pay tribute to archival pieces from the early 2000s or splice with the sculpting of archetypal overcoats. Inspired by the same era, denim trousers faded as if washed with fuel are adorned with the logo originally launched by Gucci in 1953 when the house opened its first store in New York.
Dipped in the vibrant colours and faded pastels, Crystal GG is a new lacquered interpretation of the house’s coated monogram canvas from the 1970s. Named for its sheen – Crystal GG is applied to workwear coveralls and appears in bags and shoes oversized and relaxed in construction for a tactile, aged sensibility that imbues them with soul. Garment bags worn as shoulder bags are crafted in coloured coated canvases, while the Crystal GG canvas features in a new rectangular relaxed holdall proposed in the palette of the collection, and in a classic 1970s round-toed ankle boot. It appears alongside a heeled slipper, a Princetown slipper expanded in dimension with the signature green-red-green web, and a Horsebit loafer with a lived-in effect, reflecting the collection’s emphasis on personalisation. A soft, quilted motorcycle boot also makes its debut in a multitude of colours.