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Gucci goes sci-fi for AW17

With a soundtrack lifted from The OA and a giant pyramid set, Alessandro Michele remixes vintage references in a glass maze – here’s what you missed

Kicking off Milan Fashion Week today with a bang, Gucci staged their first totally integrated men’s and women’s show to an assembled crowd including the likes of A$AP Rocky, and new face of the brand, Hari Nef. If you weren’t lucky enough to be there yourself, here’s what went down. 

THE INVITATION WAS A RECORD

Gucci show invites are always an event in themselves. Following on from last season’s intricate 3D display of the flora and fauna of the #GucciGarden, this season Alessandro sent out vinyl records in sleeves designed by photographer Coco Capitan. Reading “What are we going to do with all this future?” in very Drake album-like script, the actual recording featured Gucci muse Florence Welch’s rendition of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience that was the accompaniment for the SS17 show, as well as A$AP Rocky reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion, of all things. If you want to hear what that sounds like yourself, the audio was made available right after the show on the Gucci app, so go download it and have a listen now.

THE SET WAS A PURPLE DREAM

The first show to be held in the new Gucci HQ, Michele traded SS17’s all pink set for what The New York Times fashion editor, Vanessa Friedman called a “purple fantasia”, with everything from the draping to the runway in the royal shade. Given that this was their first unified men’s and women’s offering (with the brand having skipped Milan menswear back in Jan), perhaps this was a similar mixing of symbolic colour codes? The set was almost in complete darkness as the crowd waited for the show to start. 

THE CLOTHES WERE REMIXED VINTAGE 

It was about to get even more symbolic, though, as the curtains raised to reveal a maze-like structure with a pyramid at the centre (Illuminati conspirators will love this) and the models walked out through glass corridors like they were on a spaceship. Fitting considering the theme teased earlier in the day on the brand’s social media accounts: “The Alchemist’s Garden: an anti-modern laboratory”. This was Alessandro in mad scientist mode, where his ‘anti-modern’ reaction to the world right now manifested in a mix of vintage yet futuristic references only he could master. Japanese sun parasols were graffitied, while UFOs appeared printed on silk dresses, and kimonos were just as bedazzled as the chainmail-like all-over headwear worn by models. Some even sported sequinned septum piercings. 

THE SOUNDTRACK FUSED RELIGION & SCI-FI

As the audio invitation hinted, the soundtrack for the show was suitably eclectic. The atmospheric music before things really started gradually built, transitioning into a voiceover that sounded like something you’d hear at Catholic mass. What was most notable though, was when Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “The Rocket Builder” came on – a track you might recognise if you, like us, binge watched The OA on Netflix recently. A show about a blind woman who regains her sight and thinks she might be a dimension-hopping angel, you can’t help but think this was a very deliberate decision by Michele whose attention to detail in every aspect has made his takeover of Gucci so successful.

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