On November 2 2021, the Gucci Love Parade took over Hollywood Boulevard. The show drew on Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s childhood and paid homage to the glamour of Old Hollywood. Michele’s mother worked in the film industry, and it was the stories that she told him that acted as an escape for Michele. This infatuation lasted throughout adulthood with Michele stating that:
“Hollywood is… a Greek temple…actors and actresses are acknowledged as heroes of the myth: hybrid creatures with the power to hold divine transcendence and mortal existence at the same time”.
Journalist Nicole Phelps also notes how Michele’s Love Parade “absorbed all manner of Hollywood tropes” from Old Hollywood glamour to more everyday looks too.
Let’s look at some of the favourites…
Elizabeth Taylor, ranked seventh in the list of the greatest female screen legends in Hollywood Cinema, is perhaps best known for her eponymous role of Cleopatra in the 1963 Walter Wanger film.
Gucci’s pre-fall’22 collection featured this inspired look:
Another cult classic film is featured in the form of the 1976 rendition of Stephen King’s Carrie. The title role was played by Sissy Spacek, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Gucci Love Parade:
And finally, we have a reference to Anna May Wong’s Tu Tuan in the 1934 film Limehouse Blues. Wong is an important figure in Hollywood as she is considered to be the first Chinese-American movie star.
Gucci Love Parade:
So, what do you think? Do you think Gucci successfully paid homage to some of the most iconic Hollywood fashion moments and the starlets that wore them? Or do you think they verge too much on Halloween costumes for a November 2nd show?
Launched late last year, the new edition of A Magazine Curated By features 280 pages of interviews, imagery and musings brought together by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. It is the 16th issue since the concept was devised by Walter Van Beirendonck in 2001. Prior ‘curators’ have included Proenza Schouler, Stephen Jones, Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto and Riccardo Tisci.
Credited with reviving the Italian house’s fortunes following his appointment almost exactly 2 years ago, this was an opportunity for Michele to express his creative perspective through exclusive content, free from advertising nods or commercial requirements. His vision for Gucci was made clear from the start with his first men’s show in January 2015. After 14 years in the company, latterly looking after accessories under his predecessor Frida Giannini, Michele was promoted with a week to go before the show. Jettisoning the entire pre-prepared men’s collection, he pulled together an aesthetically far-removed offering in a matter of days, showing sheer pussy bow blouses on both men and women, printed suits, and fur lined slip-on loafers, destined for stardom. The New Yorker have since labelled him ‘Gucci’s Renaissance Man.’
His clothes reflect a broad interest in adornment and embellishment over honing a silhouette; a devoted flea-market and museum goer, an antique-cluttered, retro sensibility suffuses his plucked-from-history’s-dressing-up-box offering. A Magazine provides an insight into Michele’s interests and inspirations, from curiosities and keepsakes to the work of artist Cindy Sherman and singer-songwriter Florence Welch, layered over prints which mirror the textiles used in Gucci’s printed suits and boutique interiors. Printed on matte paper of satisfying, substantial thickness, this is a magazine devoid of advice or instructions; it is closer to a personal scrapbook, easy for a reader to delight in its colour and detail-filled pages.
The list of contributors is impressive: Chloë Sevigny, Bruce Weber, Joe McKenna, Glen Luchford, Unskilled Worker, Madonna, Grace Coddington and Jared Leto to name just a few. Each were offered the words ‘blind for love’ – Michele’s theme for the issue, lifted from an 18th century manuscript – as a starting point. Their myriad narratives number around 40 in total.
One of the most engaging spreads features the actor and model Hari Nef; openly transgender, she has been a force for increasing diversity in the fashion industry of late. She first walked Gucci’s catwalk a year ago in the Autumn/Winter 2016 men’s show. In Michele’s A Magazine she appears as an angel lensed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, complete with feathered wings, glowing features and a wide-eyed, heavenward stare. Another Gucci model, the photographer Petra Collins, contributes a nostalgia-tinted fashion story. A further fashion story, photographed by Gia Coppola, nods to the film Picnic at Hanging Rock – a perennial favourite of many fashion creatives – with blurred figures clad in ethereal Gucci gowns in sherbet tones draped across a rocky landscape.
The resultant magazine is full of the same sense of purpose which defined Michele’s very first show; behind the scenes snaps of which, taken by Michele, conclude the magazine. It is a treasure: a rich narrative, complete with a youthful cast striving to redefine ideals of beauty.