Extravagant colors, astonishing face-embellishment, vibrant florals, and the tantalizing quality of a Venetian masked ball: Gucci gets very Gucci this season, even with no logo in sight.
And that’s not even the most intriguing part of this SS23 collection.
Michele often draws on his Italian heritage, and this season he evokes a concept from the great playwright by Luigi Pirandello, and his iconic mask metaphor. Playing on the idea that every human being has multiple personalities, Michele showcases designs for all aspects of an individual, leaving us pondering notions of the self.
From the very start of the show, masks are revealed: the mask of sparkling first encounters. In typical Michele style, pieces are adorned in sequins with a touch of the 70s, ravishing animal prints, and a flash of skin. These are clothes that hold the frisson of a first encounter – where weather conditions and practicality are dismissed, in favor of making a stylish first impression.
Models then gracefully reunite with their identical twin, and the clothes duplicate. The effect is alienating and ambiguous. The ego crushes into multiple identities.
The outfits are identical, and so are the models. A Hundred Thousand personalities are now walking the show, and individual identities are questioned and concealed. Garments are repeated and the idea of personality is explored - of what lies beneath.
Our first mask has now lost the status of singularity: and finally, are our other masks shown. The same clothes emanate different qualities on seemingly identical bodies. The emphasis is still, of course, on Alessandro Michele’s breathtaking creations, but what is under it is different now. We now know the person we have met, there is no need to hide ourselves behind one great outfit, so there goes our second mask. The model is, therefore, at the same time One for himself, A Hundred Thousand in relation to the various situations in which it finds itself, and No One, because the true identity vanishes when the ego multiplies itself.
This season, Asian influences, 90s low waisted skirts, magenta color blocking and midi skirts worn with high boots were styled for avid Gucci fans, whose eyes certainly wouldn’t be wide shut during this dynamic show! For the rest of us, commercial pieces were hidden amongst the multiplicity of looks, with subtle pieces of mirrors adorning the collection further exploring ideas of the imagined self.
Michele highlights how fashion thrives on multiplications, yet it can be that very essence that hampers the most genuine expression of every possible individual. And yes, Pirandello would have loved this show too.
You can watch the full show below