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Backstage at Gucci SS18Photography Nick DeLieto

Gucci references Marlboro, Evel Knievel & Disney for SS18

The glittering 100-plus look collection was staged among a postmodern homage to lost civilisations

Milan fashion week has arrived, today opening with the always extra Gucci. Following last season’s futuristic space-age collection, Alessandro Michele transformed the show’s space into a somehow modern ode to civilisations lost – here are our highlights.

THE INVITE 

Each guest was given a GUCCY-branded keepsake tin containing scented papers, black candles, and matches. The perfect gift for the fashion conscious arsonist in your life.

THE SET 

The show was held in the house’s still relatively shiny and new via Mecenate headquarters, in the airplane hangar-sized warehouse showspace that contained a giant pyramid for AW17. Inside, the space was full of statues, from ancient Egypt to Mayan archways and Grecian and Roman goddesses, as well as contemporary streetlights. The world is having some big conversations about the motives and meanings of monuments lately, but this felt like a postmodern spectacle rather than a political statement.

DAPPER DAN WAS THERE

As well as A$AP Rocky, the Gucci Bloom girls (Hari Nef, Petra Collins and Dakota Johnson) and the Roman faces of the Resort campaign, Harlem tailor and new face of Gucci tailoring Dapper Dan was there. The bootleg designer was referenced in Gucci’s Resort collection that was presented in Florence and after starring in the campaign announced that with the help of the Italian brand will be opening his studio doors once again.

A VISUAL FEAST

When it comes to Gucci are under the direction of Alessandro Michele, more is always more. And the SS18 collection was no less impressive when it come to the volume of pieces on display: there were sci-fi sunglasses, diamanté ‘Gucci’ hair barrettes, GG medallion necklaces, bumbags and 80s power shoulders – all in the first half of the show. Elsewhere there were giant totes, mink-lined coats and fashion’s first designer neck brace. Spinal-aligning chic.

LOGO FLIPS AND REFERENCES

As the lights went down and the models speed walked out onto the runway, bathed in disco flashing coloured lights, you might have done a few double takes due to the iconic logos and motifs reworked to fit the Gucci-sphere. There was a red-collared t-shirt made to look like a pack of Marlboro reds, a white satin Evel Knievel jumpsuit and more obvious references like the giant rhinestoned Bugs Bunny head on the front of a jumper. Others were more instructional and read “Never Marry a Mitford” – inspired by the 11th Duke of Devonshire, who did, in fact, marry one. Elton John also made a surprising appearance (sadly not IRL) on a tote bag that was illustrated with the single cover for his 1971 “Levon”.

SEQUIN SHOWSTEALERS 

Last season there was the chainmail bodysuit – made even more famous when RiRi wore it – and today there were the totally crazy sequinned dress/cape/mask/bow/jacket contraptions. Almost a real-life version of the IG filter that makes everything glitter, it seemed as if almost every outfit of the 107 look strong collection had some sort of sequin or rhinestone. Could it be an homage to the King of all that glitters, Bob Mackie? The rhinestoned bodysuits certainly looked like it.

WORDS OF THE SEASON 

It seemed that “resistance” was on Alessandro Michele’s mind this season – or at least that is what his show notes said. As for the clothes, they declared words like ‘animal magnetism’ and ‘spiritiso’. Backstage he summed it up more simply: “It’s about the things that are not believable,” he said.