Ar­tis­ti­cally ec­cen­tric col­lec­tion shown in Medi­cis’ Florence

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FLORENCE, ITALY — Alessan­dro Michele’s mid­sea­son Cruise 2018 col­lec­tion was as ar­tis­ti­cally ec­cen­tric as the por­traits hang­ing in the Medi­cis’ pri­vate Varsari Cor­ri­dor that guests took to ar­rive at the ex­clu­sive run­way show Mon­day evening at the Pitti Palace venue.

It was a night of Re­nais­sance in­dul­gence for the Gucci crowd, with celebrity guests in­clud­ing El­ton John, Kirsten Dunst, Jared Leto, Dakota John­son, ac­com­pa­nied by sis­ters Stella Ban­deras and Grace John­son.

Be­fore the run­way show, guests were treated to pri­vate time with Bot­ti­celli’s mas­ter­pieces in the Uf­fizi Gallery and a guided walk along the Vasari Cor­ri­dor built by the Medi­cis to con­nect the Uf­fizi with the Pitti Palace that is oth­er­wise closed to the pub­lic for ren­o­va­tions.

Re­nais­sance-style princesses in flow­ing gowns, their faces or­nately framed by pearls, glided through the 19th cen­tury gal­leries, their stiletto heels muf­fled by the Gucci-in­stalled yel­low car­pet to pro­tect the mar­ble and ter­ra­cotta floors.

They were fol­lowed by hap­less tourists in designer Michele’s Gucci geek-wear of over­sized stripes, with Gucci pouches hung around their necks like pass­port hold­ers, or for­eign emis­saries to the palace in ex­otic tu­nics worn belted over palazzo pants.

Long golden fringe on the back of leather jack­ets gave the im­pres­sion of putti wings. Courtly puff sleeves bel­lowed ex­ag­ger­at­edly on a furry jacket.

In an era when head cov­er­ings are of­ten a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, Michele’s millinery was full of fancy, in­clud­ing golden and sil­very lau­rel gar­lands, furry hoods, pearl stud­ded caps, metal­lic tur­bans and head­pieces with stars shoot­ing up­ward.

The Gucci logo has a cen­tral role in Michele’s ren­der­ing of the brand, along with the iconic snake. He called the dou­ble G logo “the hi­ero­glyph­ics of the com­pany. It is a kind of pop sym­bol. It makes ev­ery­thing pow­er­ful.”

In an era when head cov­er­ings are of­ten a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, Michele’s millinery was full of fancy.

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