Having taken inspiration from Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, and the like for his collections, Gucci's Creative Director Alessandro Michele is ever the philosopher of fashion. And with the ubiquity of fakes circling globally, it's no wonder that he collaborated with graffiti artist known as Trouble Andrew (Trevor Andrew) on the Fall/Winter 16 Gucci Ghost Capsule Collection.
In fact, Andrew was already using the GG web monogram in his artworks way before this Gucci collab! According to Michele, he
"saw the way Trevor was using the symbol of the company and I thought it was quite genius. ... It's completely different than the idea of copying. It's the idea that you try to [take to] the street, through language like graffiti, the symbols of the company"
This quote itself from Michele, about how Andrew's artworks are not considered as copying, really reminded me of Walter Benjamin's article Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Also, the fact that Michele did not view this as parody, reminded me of yet a cross between another postmodern literary theorists Linda Hutcheon, who views parody as "repetition with critical distance, which marks difference rather than similarity" (1985:6) and the postmodern sense of self-reflexivity, i.e., the self-consciousness pertaining to the production of the work. And given that it is a Gucci collaboration, it is also demonstrative of Michele's reflexivity in relation to the Italian house. Nowhere in this collection had this been made as explicit as the Gucci tote with "REAL" splashed in bold yellow on it!
So why is it called Gucci Ghost? Well that's because he came across a sheet of Gucci tissue paper, cut two eyeholes in it, dubbed himself as the Gucci Ghost, and used this as his Halloween costume. Ever since, he has been creating a cartoon ghost with the GG monogram.
Backed by Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizarri, the Ghost capsule collab with a streetstyle vibe was born, and we saw it coming down the FW16 runway during Milan Fashion Week in February. It will be dropping in stores soon, and this Capsule Collection comprises numerous items, Ready-to-Wear, bags, SLGs, and even luggage, that are unisex as well as for both men and women, with plenty more items not shown in this blogpost!
|Alessandro Michele and Trevor Andrew in the artist's temporary studio at the Gucci HQ in Milan|
Images courtesy of Gucci