THE RITUAL OF FASHION
ALESSANDRO MICHELE INVITES US TO EXPERIENCE THE UNSEEN
There is no such ritual familiar to all working in fashion as the experience of attending a runway show, or even working it- there’s agony, religiously-like devotion and a sense of miracle once the new collection is out. The runway is fashion’s theatrical side-and some say-it’s most creative when it comes to inventing scenarios and sharing experiences that will never happen again.
Alessandro Michele is no stranger to the theatrical and absurd. He staged his Fall 2020 Milan presentation in the Gucci Hub, the brand’s headquarters; practically creating a behind-the-scenes tour of the “Unrepeatable Ritual” that is the show itself. "There's the rapture of a gift, in this repeatable ritual," he emphasized in his show notes. "There's the promise of a precious delivery. There’s something though, in this ceremony that usually stays buried: the struggle of the parturient that accompanies the tremble of creation; the mother’s womb where poetry blooms, from shape to shape. Therefore, I decided to unveil what lies behind the curtains."
Guests entered the show room via a staging area where the preparation of models’ make-up and hair was in full choreographed mood before getting dressed for the presentation of the clothes-all in front of the show audience. Now dressed, the models proceeded to the edge of the stage and behind circular glass panels in the repetitive sound of Ravel’s Bolero.-the proper fashion carousel.
Michele’s idea of showing the workforce responsible can be traced back in his years working in the unseen part of fashion. “I have always considered the fashion show as an event bursting with enchantment," he commented in his welcome notes. "A liturgical action that suspends the ordinary, loading it with an excess of intensity. A procession of epiphanies and expanded thoughts that settle into a different partition of the sensible."
As for the styles, it was all typical Gucci-style calculated extravagance: rich textures and a somewhat darker palette inspired by a series of mixed-period silhouettes. There were large ruffled Georgian gowns worn with leather harnesses, shrunken baby doll dresses and dandy- meets- geek suits. Then, there was the idea of the ritual with pilgrim –inspired hats and catholic style large cross necklaces worn over mini dresses. Most looks came out styled with a headpiece of different type-from headscarves and top hats to bejeweled tiaras.
For Alessandro Michele, life’s a stage. So, we’d better dress for it--and enjoy the ride.