Alessandro Michele’s Spring 2019 was shown in the Théâtre Le Palace in Paris on September 25, 2019. Le Palace in Paris, the epicenter of party in the late ’70s and early-’80s club. Le Palace was the haunt of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo, Antonio Lopez, rock stars, and muses. People came to meet lovers and friends, and this year, to see a show put on by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.
While parts of the the collection were distinctly Parisian, looks paid tribute to American icons Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, and Jane Birkin—legend of French music, theater, and film—sang her song “Baby Alone in Babylone.” Michele loves to channel morbidity.
Gucci Spring/Summer 2019 Runway Show Takeaways:
Basically… the logo and the GG print are in. Gucci’s Marmont interlocking GG logo is going strong, and now they’re mixing it with even more older archive designs.
The petite Double G print is an archival Gucci design from the 60s and has been gracing handbags ever since. The iconic GG logo didn’t come into play until roughly a decade after the fashion house founder, Guccio Gucci, passed away. Using his initials, the GG first appeared in the early sixties on fastenings for bags, before expanding into monograms. The 80s and 90s saw huge success for Gucci: excess was the everywhere and so was Gucci. Now, Creative Director Alessandro Michele has re-embraced the logo, resurrecting the double G motif of Gucci’s 1980s heyday and reinterpreting it for today. The GG pattern was seen on handbags, shirts, and full suits throughout the show (taking notes from Fendi and LV, who also put their logos all over everything).
Alessandro Michele has done an incredible thing for Gucci accessories: inspiration from the past to create new bags has revived Gucci’s look and handbag sales. It’s clear that Michele as a designer is heavily inspired by the glam of the 1970s with a modern touch of 2018 style.
Case in point: 1. the GG Marmont collection features a thick, gold GG logo design is from an archival belt buckle design from the 1970s. 2. The Gucci Ophidia bag was originally released in the 1970s and is now super popular among handbag lovers. So, why now?
While the 1970s weren’t my favorite era for fashion, it reminds me that nostalgia is a real thing when it comes to our accessories. What about the 1970s is so inspiring to Alessandro Michele to have him draw inspiration from it now? Fashion and style are cyclical, it ebbs and flows in and out of style from year to year. Particular pieces come back into style (like, fanny packs) or entire generations come back into the greater style consciousness (like, the 1990s).
Style in the 1970s–particularly the hippie, glam rock, and disco-era that Alessandro is channeling was loud, boisterous, and unapologetic. At that time, America was facing a recession and coming out of the Vietnam War. The 1970s also saw the birth of anti-conformist casual chic approach to fashion while people embraced the changes that were happening in the society (post-war, the growth of women’s rights and the youth counterculture).
So, why is the logo print so strong again?
Fashion (especially handbags) went through a phase in the 2010s that reflected minimalism. After the economic collapse of the late 2000s, the face of luxury changed: we traded our logos for bags that were recognizable by silhouette rather than covered in logos. We didn’t want to parade our wealth, instead, we focused on anti-logo bags like the Chloe Paddington, Balenciaga City, and Celine Luggage tote bags.
But now, the logo craze is back with a vengeance. Are we ready to parade our wealth again? And, the largest question: why are we buying it again? Is it just fashion? Or is it a statement about the socio-political climate? I’ve always been a firm believer in fashion reflecting what’s going in the world around us… so what’s happening now?
Alessandro Michele is a designer who rummages around in the past and ends up finding the present there. The past living in the present: a global powerhouse of a brand built on Michele’s ability to make history stylish again.
Photos by Gucci & Vogue (Yannis Vlamos; Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv)