Since Gucci announced, a few months ago, its departure from the traditional fashion week calendar, literally everybody in the fashion field have speculated (on a public stage or not) on what to expect from Alessandro Michele. The reasons of the creative director’s decision, publicly exposed on Instagram, are about the search for a long-silenced inner timing, something that now seems unmissable for many designers around the world.
In truth, the question has acquired a bit more serious tones over time: not the naive research of a tired creative director, but rather an open discussion about the reality that fashion is, about its rituals, vailed works which exist and permit to the system to proceed, and its reasons to be.
Thus, the 12 hour long live broadcast that anyone has more or less heard of, is the set of a normal working day during an adv campaign. The Resort 2021 that the event was meant to present is very little in the center of the camera: instead we see a lot of “behind the scenes”. Makeup, hair, a trampoline, long boring waits and even lunch break. And if the live broadcast has had a doubtful success, in terms of views, this speaks clear about the perception that end customers have of the fashion system. Around fashion there have always been many dazzling lights: there is the glamor of exclusivity, the show and the pomp that seem unreachable and for this reason so attractive. But the truth is that fashion is a job, more or less as every other fields, and when fashion victims are subjected to the spectacle of a “normal” job (boring and repetitive like so many others), here they turn their gaze on something else, pretending not to see.
For Alessandro Michele, however, the video is not (only) a provocation. It is part of a project started with the last fashion week in Milan, in February, a story divided in three chapters, following the structure of a fairy tale. In the fashion show for the Fall Winter 20/21, if you remember, the pubic could see, behind the models, all the professional figures working on the collection: tailors, but also stylists and makeup artists. As if to say “Behind all of this there are full days of work for all of us”. The advertising campaign for the collection was created with models who, in the solitude of their homes, chose their looks and took pictures by themselves in an amateur way. The final Epilogue is supposed to be the end. For Alessandro Michele it is good that fashion shows itself to the public, in its reality . After all, fashion is no longer the fairy tale world of the early 2000s, fashion is real and everyday life.
The lookbook for the Resort stages detailed photos of the individual outfits, worn by those who work in the ateliers. Michele says “fashion is strong, it’s you and it’s me”: communion, mutual help and daily work is what the “everyday heroes” that appear in the shots have in common. They are the “real” fashion, because they create it with their own hands. But true fashion is also all of us who, on a daily basis, give it new life and new reasons for being.
Cover image by Mark Peckmezian, courtesy Gucci.