Exactly five years have passed since the world caught a first glimpse at what the new Gucci would look like under then-new (and unknown) creative director Alessandro Michele. Famously put together in a matter of days, the collection shook the fashion landscape to its core, ushering in a new era of gender fluidity and romanticism for menswear.
So for his Fall 2020 men’s collection in Milan today, Michele boiled down his vision for Gucci to its essence. He wanted to capture the purity of childhood, back when carefree days weren’t tainted by societal norms, particularly those relating to masculine ideals.
A series of objects drove this point home, including a giant pendulum swaying in the middle of the set that represented a journey back in time. The clothes also relayed this message, such as jeans with grass stains that evoked child’s play, knickerbockers, and pulled-up knee socks that conjured images of early 20th century school boys.
The childhood theme became quite prevalent before the first model even walked out. Invitations to the show were written with the apparent handwriting of a five-year-old, inviting guests to attend their 5th birthday party.
“In a patriarchal society, masculine gender identity is often moulded by violently toxic stereotypes,” read the show notes. “A dominant, winning, oppressive masculinity model is imposed on babies at birth. Attitudes, languages and actions end up progressively conforming to a macho virility ideal that removes vulnerability and dependence. Any possible reference to femininity is aggressively banned, as it is considered a threat against the complete affirmation of a masculine prototype that allows no divergencies.”
As such, the collection was imbued with an air of liberation, self-expression and tenderness that’s been the hallmark of Michele’s Gucci, but this time with more innocent and naive quality. Shrunken sweaters, animal motifs, Peter Pan collars, Mary Jane shoes, and quilting details all achieved his shunning of masculine stereotypes.
“Toxic masculinity, in fact, nourishes abuse, violence and sexism,” the show notes continued. “And not only that. It condemns men themselves to conform to an imposed phallocratic virility in order to be socially accepted. In other words, toxic masculinity produces oppressors and victims at the same time.”
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GUCCI MENS SS17 SHOW CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES WOMEN COULD WEAR TOO
Because Alessandro Michele is a genius, cool girls can wear anything and you could literally live in that backpack
Once upon a time, men’s fashion shows were considered (to the femme fashion world at least) little more than a brief pit-stop to fill the voids in the Women’s Fashion Week calendar. There was none of that hype factor and trend chatter that surrounded the ladies. But that was then.
Maybe it’s because of the rise and rise of male fashion bloggers, style-savvy celebs (who love to front for a FROW) and a general public tendency for guys (even you, hipsters) to be genuinely interested in clothes, but Men’s Fashion Week has never been a hotter spectacle for both sexes to watch. The talent of the designers hasn’t changed, just the world’s reaction.
Still, in the spirit of inclusiveness, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele made a point of making his June 20 Men’s Spring/Summer 2017 equal opportunity. The low-key creative, who’s quickly earned rock star status in the fashion world since taking the reins at the iconic house, added a dozen female models in brand new womens looks to his Milan show mix yesterday. But honest truth is we found it hard to see past the boys… clothes, that is. (Which given Jarod Leto appeared in the FROW, is saying a lot.)
Jarod Leto, head to toe in Gucci SS17 at Gucci SS17 basking in the lime green surrounds of the show’s entrance
Credit: courtesy Gucci
Much like the recent Gucci Resort 2017 show last month, yesterday’s runway was a sea of satin, kitchy emblems, crazy patterns and kooky chic pieces shown on male models. Many of those pieces though would work just as well for the opposite sex, which is all very appropriate given the theme of the show was being a bold explorer.
Sure, it’s unfair women can wear men’s gear without anyone raising an eyebrow (guys don’t always get the same ‘double your wardrobe’ gender flip leeway) but given we still get less pay, fewer boss jobs and way less attention in other areas like sport, we’ll happily own this particular advantage. Here’s 10 pieces we ladies wear from the Gucci SS17 show in a heartbeat.
1. THIS BACKPACK Imagine Taylor Swift taking a gap year to drift around Europe. (It’s a hypothetical – just try.) Isn’t this what she’d be wearing on her back? Quite possibly the most deluxe backpacker apparel ever created. Masterpiece.
2. THIS SHIRT Team it with distressed denim, or over unbuttoned and tied at the waist with fitted black pants and heels. Look closely at that magic happening around the cuff. Why let the guys get all the florals?
3. THIS LOAFER Call it a slipper. Call it a slide. We’re calling it fair game. Gucci’s moved on from the fur loafer with something far more louche.
4. THIS LEATHER JACKET Cartoon motifs are to this season what vintage rock concert tees were to the last. There’s nothing subtle about this fantastic white leather jacket – but your’e guaranteed to leave a trail of people behind you smiling. Extra love for the sequinned Grecian-style Gucci lettering.
5. THESE ACID WASH PANTS We give thanks for the fact high waisted mom jeans are still a thing, as is bold acid wash, because both mean these bottoms are ideal for on-trend girls. Just make sure rolled up to show some ankle.
6. THIS ANKLE CHAIN Because ankle chains are a thing right now. And everything Alessandro does, he does better.
7. THIS MAN CLUTCH Use it a briefcase, a carry-on or even a hard-sided laptop pouch – either way it’s impressive. Your only dilemma would be handle versus under-arm hold.
8. THIS SATIN BOMBER Carrying on the trend Michele effectively spearheaded for Autumn/Winter and most pray continues many seasons beyond. We suspect this embroidered jacket will sell like hotcakes in small sizes for obvious reasons. Lucky you if your name starts with M. Special mention to those fish shoes; seriously, zoom-in is warranted here.
9. THIS BELT We’re not denying it would be a tricky one for a lady to pull off, but we guarantee it’s worth trying. Channel your inner mother of dragons.
10. AND FINALLY, THIS INCREDIBLE COAT Which is beyond, frayed bottom and all. Enough said.
For the record, there were some pretty amazing women’s clothes on women in the show too…
Credits: all images courtesy Gucci