Milano Fashion Week is almost over (bummer!), and after watching most of the new collections, I had a constant question circling around in my head every single time I would finish watching a live show on the comfort of my smartphone (for now): WHO ARE YOU?
And don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t asking that question to myself, but I couldn’t help to think that the trending theme nowadays to talk about is related to the constant seek of who we really are, and MFW was so far a good portrayal of what everyone’s wondering in their heads right now: Who am I? What do I want to be? But of course, let’s talk about how some brands represented that “identity search” on their collections. Although there’s A LOT of material to talk about during this season, I’m going to start focusing on the brand that shocked me the most, and I think I can confirm so far that this one has undoubtedly been the most shocking and controversial to everyone too: GUCCI.
Watching Gucci’s Ready-To-Wear collection was... an intense experience. I literally cannot remember what was going around me while I was watching it live in my university’s classroom. It was as if I had been hallucinating. Starting from the invitation, to the runway as a surgical room, to the models holding their heads and oh, let’s not forget about the baby dragon that definitely made me question if it was real or not! The whole thing was out of this world. There’s no clear single reason on why Alessandro Michele decided to pull off a show like this, but he did confirm to the press that his idea was no longer about the clothes, it was more about a state of mind. Regarding the show notes, CYBORG (as he called it), there was a reference to identity, stating that: “Identity, though, is neither a natural matter nor a preset category, which can be imposed with violence. It’s not an immutable or a fixed fact, rather a social and cultural construction and, as such, it’s a matter of choice, joining, invention. Identity, thus, is a never-ending process, keen on new determinations each time.” When I read this to my roommate out loud she instantly replied to me: “So basically we can all be aliens now!” We laughed out loud at the idea that nowadays we live under the belief that we can all escape freely from every social, cultural and even biological position that we’ve been fixed in from the beginning of our existence.
Now I’m going to be honest with you, and this is why I am writing just now about Gucci whereas everyone posted their perceptions instantly. I laughed it off at first, I thought the whole collection had been just too bizarre and ultimately that there had been too much of everything to really focus on the clothes. Moreover, I totally understood some people out there complaining about FW (mostly after the Moschino RTW Show) by saying how tired everyone is of seeing weird stuff going down the runway instead of actual clothes. But later on, as I started seeing through the rest of other brand’s collections I sort of made sense of what Alessandro was trying to say, and although Gucci has still been a bizarre overload of ideas, the intention seems pretty clear to me now.
It’s fair to say that most of the historical legends in Fashion history have admitted publicly that the work they did was essentially focused on beauty, and this is something I mostly noticed by attending the “’L’Italia vista dalla moda 1971-2001” exhibition one afternoon. In the generation we live in, beauty now can be interpreted in various forms and ways. There have been way too many revelations in our society coming mainly from young people to confirm that we no longer are willing to follow any kind of aesthetic fixed to us by other generations. Like I have mentioned in the past, Fashion is a constant evolution and that is why making pretty clothes down the runway won’t make it. Fashion brands nowadays have to be game changers. Perhaps people that are not so aware of how the industry has evolved in the past few decades won’t get the idea, but that no longer matters anymore. People are yearning to stand out, to be different, to find a new facet of their personalities and to ultimately, be able to represent it in the best way they can to the world.
Going back to what Gucci actually showed down the runway, it’s better to say that everything showed can be interpreted in various ways. Reading a few articles I was able to understand what was behind the balaclavas, nipple tassels, the American sports merch and why the models were holding their own heads as an accessory. Ultimately these interesting pieces that served as symbols could also only represent the personal view of the designer and it’s up to someone to analyze everything as a whole or individually. In spite of everything, what really matters the most about Gucci is that it clearly showed the beginning of what is coming next: the chance for us to really become our true selves. It’s a very glamorous invitation of presenting a world-changing proposal if you think about it.