Alessandro Michele's refreshing new offering for Gucci ready-to-wear was inspired by music and style legend, Elton John.
The collection was directly inspired by original designs created for the singer-songwriter by Bob Mackie, Annie Reavey and Mr Freedom. These pieces included:
- A jumpsuit by Bob Mackie influenced a dress with sequin detail.
- Jacket and pants inspired by an outfit by Annie Reavey, worn by Sir Elton John playing a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1973.
- A puff shoulder striped top inspired by a Bob Mackie design.
- A checkered jacket with crystal studs inspired by a Bob Mackie design.
- A T-shirt featuring Bob Mackie’s signature, an homage to the famed costume designer who created some of Elton John's most legendary stage outfits.
- E H J, the initials of Elton Hercules John, embellish the back of a lamé jacket inspired by one designed by Annie Reavey fin the 1970s.
- A T-shirt embellished with a print of the Mr Freedom label. Mr Freedom was a London boutique open in the late 60s and early 70s which sold pop art style fashion by young designers commissioned by the owner Tommy Roberts and his partner Trevor Myles. Elton John commissioned Roberts to create several looks for his American tour in 1970.
My top 3 favourite looks from the mixed-gender collection were:
- The fitted maxi skirt in quilted red floral fabric, paired with a 80's-tastic wide shoulder jacket in eye-popping electric blue with red piping, as seen in this article's header photo. The piled-on costume jewellery was a an occurring theme throughout the show, which I weirdly love despite my usual inclination towards minimalist accessorising. But Gucci don't do minimalism, that's for sure. More is more, less is a bore.
- The William Morris-esque wallpaper print jumpsuit styled expertly with a bold leopard print bomber jacket. I think leopard print needs to totally shed its stripper vibe because genuinely, it's a fucking fantastic print that suits pretty much everyone. Bonus points for clashing it with florals.
- The super chic cream silk two-piece worn with a classic Gucci necktie, cross body bag and heart-shaped sunnies. Total Lana Del Rey Vibes!
It was pleasantly surprising to see a collection from Michele that aesthetically felt different from the past few years of Gucci-dom, where everything was red, green and heavily embroidered/embellished/decorated. There has certainly been a feeling amongst the industry that Gucci's mad success and very consistent formula must at some point come to an end.
Now, I don't see the brand's popularity ending any time soon; especially with today's presentation chock full of garments and accessories aching to be sellouts worldwide (you could practically see the buyers salivating over the new handbags and sunglassses), but an alternative design direction would be a welcome thing indeed. It seems a refreshing concept for Michele himself too; in fact, he told Vogue before the show:
"It's been hard for me from the beginning but now it's really hard, because I think that fashion is the only language that wants to keep the old rules and expect something that doesn't work for me and my idea of fashion. When you watch the show you can see what I'm trying to do: I want to stay in my aesthetic. I don't want to run because I know the company works in a very fast way, but that doesn't lessen the creative act- It's about what is the playground of Gucci: I want to stay, I want to feel, and I want to dilate this little swimming pool and turn it into an ocean."
We can't wait to see what else in in store for this season's Milan Fashion Week after a killer first day! What do you think of the #GucciEltonJohn collection?