Alessandro Michele’s collect-it-all maximalism for Gucci is a millennial magnet. Sales are strong, campaigns are witty, collections and shows are performative. This show, the first for Gucci Paris, was an especially flamboyant affair. Le Palace theatre, a location steeped in history (it was the epicentre of cool during the late seventies and eighties) was filled to the rafters with Gucci fans. The likes of Petra Collins, Faye Dunaway, Jared Leto, Hari Nef and more, were all sat surrounding the central stalls as if the Gucci family was watching over you.
The drama and spectacle began with a film by the creative duo Leo de Berardinis and Perla Peragallo. The film itself featured squealing and crying, glitter, a heavy fringed young girl seemingly losing her mind. You’d be forgiven for thinking the film was Michele’s work, it was so in keeping with the Gucci aesthetic; but it was released by the duo in the mid sixties. Michele is simply a truffle hog for wonderful treasures of history such as this. The set, the film - so far so Gucci.
Lights danced over the audience and stage as models interlaced through the stalls up to the stage. This was fantastically chaotic: leopard print jumpsuits, sequinned monogrammed suiting, lamé, glitter, cowboy hats, lace gloves and tights, heart-like shoulder shapes, studded slides and socks, slightly worn trainers with Gucci jewels, leather two-pieces and a spectacular bedazzled shell cock piece. Drama and attitude continued with Mickey Mouse heads for handbags and a homage to Dolly Parton on a denim jacket and pink tracksuit. A fantasia of frills, feathers and froufrou.
As the models lined up on stage, the spotlight swung overhead, mimicking the disco lights that would have filled the theatre in days of yore, catching the excess of sparkle. Just when the audience was gripped most, the drama halted and the incredible Jane Birkin stood to sing a segment from Baby Alone In Babylon. A pinch me moment and Michele’s final homage to France. Such glamour can sugarcoat the eclecticism and excitement of Gucci’s high-fashion vintage. Will such oddities, multifarious references and stylings last forever? Can this aesthetic keep on captivating? Who knows what lies ahead, but I expect we shall all continue succumbing to the spectacle like moths to Gucci’s flame.