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A Hymn To Freedom: Gucci Resort 2020

Back In Time Of Mighty Emperors, Courageous Gladiators And Antique Beauty In Gucci Resort Collection

Theatre starts with a hanger, journey with a ticket, diet from Monday, and fashion show with an invitation. In order to get to the Gucci Resort 2020 show and relocate to ancient Rome, all the guests had to work hard a bit: their invitations in the form of an old book awaited them inside the centuries-old Antica Libreria Cascianelli book store. Onto a decrepit title page featured with blue printed letters that seemed to be printed by the old stamp of the last century, there is a Paul Veyne quote, written in his original French.

Car seule l’antiquité païenne éveillat mon désir, parce que c’était le monde d’avant, parce que c’était un monde aboli.

“Only pagan antiquity awakened my desire because it was the world of before because it was an abolished world.”

Invitations led to Musei Capitolini – the first museum in the world that was conceived by Michelangelo in 1471 and opened its doors to visitors only in 1734. In the entourage of gloom and antique marble statues illuminated by torches under the seats, Alessandro Michele decided to have a small talk with us about freedom and respect to women, their bodies and reproductive rights, and also reminded us about the importance of the gender equality literally piercing all his collection and reflected even in the model casting. It’s not the first time when Michele speaks about problems that bother him, which found its reflection in fashion and featured collection: this is the most approachable manner to express his own stance, make statements and point out on the most pain points.

This time an antique collection is dedicated to women who left without any kind of choice, reproductive freedom and right to dispose of their body the way they want, no matter how precipitously the feminism movements develop. Michele confesses that some collection elements were completed in the last 24 hours before show as a reaction of recent news happened in the world. The hottest topic of the collection that became if not a starting point, but a quintessence of Michele’s reaction – the restrictive abortion bans in American Alabama, Missouri, Ohio and Georgia, which took effect earlier this month.

In the middle of the show a model dressed in purple jacquard pantsuit rapidly sweeping along the corridor of smartphones aimed at her by hungry to the first-hand content guests, leaving behind a loud statement, proudly flaunting on the back with blocks of big letters, «My Body, My Choice». Some looks after a long-haired nymph comes up in a tender cream gown with audacious yet delicate embroidery below the belt, depicting a uterus whose ovaries bloom with charming pink flowers. By the end of the show, on a mini caplet decorating a painted with floral patterns pyjama top and matching skirt, there are important numbers pop up – 22.05.1978 – the day when Italian law protecting legal abortion came into force. Whereas other model wore special makeup that reminded of a muzzle as a symbol of limited freedom of speech and personal rights.

“The uterus is a mysterious and wonderful part, we can imagine it with flowers, like a garden,” said Michele, addressing “recent news, but women should really be respected and considered as much as men, they should have freedom of choice, even to interrupt a pregnancy, which is the most difficult one.”

And how funny to follow the concept of how antiquity intersects with a modern pop-culture. Draped toga that was worn in antiquities by emperors and generals, now decorated plaid suits and naked fragile male-model body that doesn’t already resemble a gladiator power; meanwhile blood-red with un-dyed wool capes paying tribute to Roman army uniforms, fluttered behind the shoulder of both girls and boys. A sudden splash of modernity found its reflection in omnipresent iconic Disney character, Mickey Mouse, whose eternally happy smiling big-eared muzzle became the main decoration of sweaters, shirts, lightweight tops and bags.

Michele plays with a-gender: between male and female models all the boundaries are erased. Undernourished, fragile boys storm the museum halls in shapeless plaid shorts resembling skirts, flaunt with massive statement ear cuffs and necklaces, and show off with painted bright nails. No less scrawny lovely girls once again walk down the elongated jackets on with the ‘70s inspired shoulders, ugly multicoloured sneakers several sizes larger than their actual feet, and wide boyfriend jeans – so wide that the gawky beauty could easily fit in one trouser leg.

It’s not the first season we can observe an eclectic-chaotic blend of styles which Michele deals with perfectly, managing to keep a strong concept and not go weird trash and gaudy carpet bacchanalia. The ‘70s are harmoniously embodied in velvet flared trousers and wide shoulders jackets, even long-haired wavy boys resemble that epoch of a rampant rock’n’roll frenzy. The old-Hollywood glamour with its faux-fur perfectly adjoins with baroque prints and lace lingerie sets. Meanwhile, couture gowns with a romantic drape and sophisticated embroidery transmit us to history book pages of the Roman emperor’s wife robes.

Alessandro Michele’s collections are interesting even by the fact they may be examined infinitely long due to an abundance of a number of details, thought out, has its own meaning. Sometimes I make a comparison his collections to artworks of the most famous Dutch freak and weird characters amateur, Hieronymus Bosch: just by one glance at his paintings eyes scatter from a bounty of pieces, hidden significance, spooky characters, images and locations. And it’s so easy to stand for a long time in front of the picture examining each inch: once my friends lost me in the museum.

I’m not in the museum at this moment and it’s impossible to lose me, but I will say one thing: when beauty and fashion speak about really pressing issues and express the protest, they get closer to us. Alessandro Michele is a wizard which isn’t afraid to create miracles and talk about what is truly important. Perhaps, so should be Gucci.