Of all fashion's seasons, it's Resort that holds the most space for fantasy. Yet, as a byproduct of the pandemic, much of that opportunity for wonder was snuffed out. It's not that our imaginations couldn't handle it, and although many of us found freedom in make-believe, there were those of us who simply weren't in the mood. But for Cruise 23, Alessandro Michele has reawakened our thirst for magic in a big way, taking the world of Gucci to Puglia for Gucci Cosmogonie.
The destination show is back, baby. We saw it as Chanel raced to Monte-Carlo for its Cruise collection and now Michele has scoped out Gucci's 13th century Castel del Monte for his own spectacle of storytelling through fashion. Solitary and jutting out of a hill in Andria, its octagonal architecture and powder-white walls call on visions of medieval times. The knight of this particular fable? German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin. The clothes are an encore to Benjamin's famed philosophy: constellation thinking. A concept Michele fully embraces for this collection, snatching fragments from here and there, drawing parallels so that they might come together in one complete picture, fully-realised and dazzling.
Looking to the sky for metaphor was helped along by the fact that Gucci staged its show during the Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse. Meaning guests like Dakota Johnson, Elle Fanning and Jodie Turner-Smith would catch the earth's shadow turn the moon an amber colour. If nothing else, it was a reminder to look up.
With the scene set, and all the ingredients in motion including the rarest of all (being in the right place at the right time), it was time for the clothes. As the night darkened around the castle it was the fashion, cascading down a crumbling staircase, that mirrored its celestial muses emitting a brilliant glow.
Silver sequins abound, articulated in zig-zag lines on a bodice and vertical rows on a shimmering frock. Lustrous red spiked the buttery tones. Meanwhile, latex gloves clung to the arms and dashed the voluminous, overtly glam collection with a whisper of sex. Prints were particularly stellar, with swirling vortexes and psychedelic squares. Gold, silver and bronze accents embellished just about everything. It was Michele in his element, and an unearthly one at that. Adding his own point of view to the web of dialogue left behind in Benjamin's legacy.
Watch the full Gucci Cosmogonie show, below.