Gucci kicked off Milan Fashion Week yesterday with its first ever combined Men's and Women's show - a trend for quite a number of brands since last season. The show set was concealed behind purple velvet curtains, until the show began. When the lights dimmed, the set was revealed: a gleaming purple pyramid at the centre, and an glass-encased tubed runway surrounding the pyramid, that was sort of rectangular and then forked at some parts.
With Alessandro Michele always citing philosophers such as Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari as influences behind his past collections, I myself can't help but philosophise over this collection. The glass-encased runway made me think of the models in his FW17 collection coming down the runway as museum-quality exhibit pieces, things we could only see, yet from afar, thanks to the glass barrier between the models and the audience.
And then it got me thinking even more -- judging from Michele's collections since he took over the helm at Gucci, his obsession with the Monarch Butterfly, and snakes didn't come across as something out of the ordinary, until now. After several collections, we have slowly learnt more and more about him through his collections. I know he has been citing a garden of enchantment which he calls the Gucci Garden as the rationale behind his fantasyland, particularly with animals and faerie-like ethereal dresses. But then last season the eye played a big part (especially in the press materials we received - the folder had several eyes on them - and then this FW17 season, when I saw there's the serpent forming a circle, that makes it seem as if it's biting its own tail (known as Ouroboros) with "GUCCI" in the middle of the circle (see the top of this post), and then finally the pyramid at the centre of the runway, this was when it all began to click for me. Although I didn't see any eye on top of the pyramid, it seemed like there wasn't a need for one because the glass encased runway that surrounded it was already suggestive of the famous "all seeing eye" in Illuminati lore. It became clear that Michele positioned himself on top of the Panopticon, and was the puppet master, the "Big Brother" that saw everything, but yet, was not seen. I don't know if I'm reading too much into things, or whether he's been inserting Illuminati symbols into his collection, bit by bit, all this time? After all, the Illuminati were known to hide their symbols in plain sight, no?
Okay now on to the bags...
Interesting Chatelaine bag - a popular style from the 1860s
The Verdict: The iconic Bamboo bags seem to feature very prominently in the collection - most of them come with the Bamboo handle, including a picnic basket bag. There was also a bag which seemed like a cross between the Bamboo and the Sylvie, and speaking of which, the it seems as if there's going to be an oversized version of the Sylvie. Michele also brings back the waist pouch - a popular 80s style, and then there are some vintage-inspired bags, including the suitcase and the chatelaine. There's also a selection of modular bags, where you can attach one bag to another so that you have a whole string of bags, or detach them at will if you feel like downsizing. Do I detect a modular bag trend, because we also saw this concept at Anya Hindmarch's AW17 collection a couple of days ago...
What are your thoughts on the collection, and my deduction of Michele's allusion to the Illuminati? I'd love to hear from you!
P.S. If you missed the Gucci FW17 runway show live yesterday, watch the FULL show right here via the on-demand video service!
Images via Vogue Runway