We only hope that the casting director at Gucci's SS23 show received a pat on the back, and possibly a wine or two. The collection, which was unveiled on day four of Milan Fashion Week, featured 68 sets of twins who were all scouted at the annual Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Although this element of the show was only revealed as the final models made their exits. A partition, swathed in portraits of twins by Mark Peckmezian, divided the audience so that they were none the wiser about each other's presence. Models who initially appeared single file, were mirrored by their siblings as the partition lifted to reveal another set of stands. It was a remarkable production, and for the finale the doppelgängers held hands as the voice of Marianne Faithfull bled over the scene.
Creative director, Alessandro Michele's own mother was a twin. In the show notes he opens up about how they lived in tandem. "They were magically mirrored. One multiplied the other. That was my world, perfectly doubled and double." A personal tidbit that explains this particular long-standing fascination of Michele's.
Twin metaphors drench the collection. Not only are the clothes themselves duplicated, but the famously multiplying characters from Gremlins appear. Men's thighs are exposed in fit-and-flare garter-like suit pants. Touches of outlandish 80s activewear are weaved in, while a equestrian-style handbag from the same era was revived. Cheongsams and silk kimonos are delivered through a Western orientalist gaze. Intricate beadwork appears on bomber suit jacket hybrids, headwear and silver sandals draped with pearls. As always with Michele, there's a lot going on.
The concept of individuality and identity is no so clean cut when you're born into the world with an identical other. All solipsism goes out the window, as do ideas of being unique. The other side of this is that, like the Gucci SS23 show, you have a hand to hold when things get dark. Get out of heads and hold each other instead, basically. Thanks for the reminder Alessandro Michele.
Watch the show live, below on RUSSH.com.