PER­SONAL BEST

Alessan­dro Michele en­lists a new troop of col­lab­o­ra­tors to con­vey his “be who you want to be” ethos for Gucci’s Au­tumn/Win­ter 2018. Who are his new al­lies?

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Con­tents - JAC­QUIE ANG re­ports

Be the best ver­sion

of you

it was made-for-in­sta­gram fod­der right from the start. Alessan­dro Michele’s im­mac­u­late set for Au­tumn/Win­ter 2018 had tiled ceil­ings, stark over­head LED spot­lights, fire doors with panic bars, and sur­gi­cal beds sur­rounded by plas­tic wait­ing room-style seats to com­plete the op­er­at­ing the­atre in­stalled in the show space of Gucci’s head­quar­ters.

Mod­els of no fixed iden­tity or ori­gin cra­dled a baby dragon, a chameleon and even de­cap­i­tated heads (re­lax, they’re just Mak­i­nar­ium repli­cas!). One sported eyes on the hands, while an­other had a third eye on the fore­head.

While the next-level spec­ta­cle that only he can con­jure racked up the likes, what will ring up sales is the new roll call of col­lab­o­ra­tors the cre­ative di­rec­tor — who sees his work akin to a sur­geon’s — has en­listed to en­able you to craft your own iden­tity.

SEGA

One more cross­over from Pre-Fall 2018 is the Flash trek lace-up shoes, Michele’s cross­breed of the moun­tain boot and chunky trainer.

Sport­ing high-grip rub­ber soles, the shoes walked the run­way in six dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of colours and ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing suede, techno can­vas, leather and mesh, which means ev­ery style is one-of-a-kind. The souped-up Au­tumn/Win­ter 2018 gen­er­a­tion flaunts a de­tach­able criss-cross gros­grain strap stud­ded with colour­ful crys­tals.

The shoe’s tongue car­ries the Gucci brand in the font of Ja­panese multi­na­tional video game de­vel­oper SEGA, which made its de­but in Spring/Sum­mer 2018.

MA­JOR LEAGUE BASE­BALL

With a wide range of hats, bags, shoes, menswear and wom­enswear, you can’t miss Ma­jor League Base­ball‘s (MLB) pres­ence in this col­lec­tion. The col­lab­o­ra­tion with the old­est of four ma­jor pro­fes­sional sports leagues in the US and Canada was first in­tro­duced on Pre-Fall’s ac­ces­sories. It has been ex­tended to ready-to-wear, mak­ing it the new col­lec­tion’s most prom­i­nent part­ner­ship.

This time, the pro­fes­sional base­ball or­gan­i­sa­tion’s team lo­gos of New York Yankees, San Fran­cisco Giants and Los An­ge­les Dodgers et al have evolved from print to patches. The em­broi­dered em­bel­lish­ments go against con­ven­tions to in­ject an un­ex­pected sporty edge into pieces both for­mal and ca­sual.

Ever the rule-breaker, Michele also pro­poses a uni­sex en­sem­ble (above) from the tra­di­tion­ally male tai­lored-shirt-and-trousers out­fit that the Gucci girl can wear too.

GLOBE-TROT­TER

There’s some­thing Bri­tish in Michele’s mix too. Char­ac­terised by leather han­dles, belt straps and cor­ners on its iconic cases, Bri­tish lux­ury travel life­style brand Globe-Trot­ter has been hand­craft­ing lug­gages since 1897. Its durable yet light con­struc­tion has made it a hit among roy­alty and ex­plor­ers, such as Queen El­iz­a­beth II, Sir Win­ston Churchill and Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary.

Seen on the run­way, the van­ity case was Gucci-fied with the sig­na­ture GG pat­tern, bam­boo han­dle, front-lock clo­sure and a de­tach­able leather strap that can be ad­justed to the length de­sired. To com­plete your travel needs is a set of four-wheel trol­ley cases in cabin, medium and cargo size.

PARA­MOUNT

Michele’s corp of cre­ative al­lies has an­other Amer­i­can great: The leg­endary Para­mount Pic­tures Cor­po­ra­tion is the fifth old­est sur­viv­ing film stu­dio in the world. Crowned with a ring of 24 stars, the distinc­tive pyra­mi­dal moun­tain has been its logo since in­cep­tion in 1912, which makes it the old­est sur­viv­ing sym­bol of Hol­ly­wood film.

Michele takes the cel­e­brated em­blem out of the sil­ver screen and onto ready-to-wear. It adorns leather bombers, checked shirts, sweat­shirts and the back of a men’s evening jacket in vel­vet, but the most con­spic­u­ous pieces are the T-shirt peek­ing out un­der a leather jacket (above) and the gown with a glitzy se­quin-em­broi­dered ap­pliqué of the logo (left).

CHIKAE IDE, VIVA! VOL­LEY­BALL

Michele al­ways has some­thing cute in his col­lec­tions. His Bos­ton ter­ri­ers Bosco and Orso ap­peared last sea­son. Snow White and Bugs Bunny turned up for Spring/Sum­mer 2018. There was the Guccy teddy bear in Cruise 2018, and re­mem­ber the child-like scrawls of Coco Cap­i­tan and Gucci Ghost?

Now he looks East — Chikae Ide, the Ja­panese il­lus­tra­tor be­hind Viva! Vol­ley­ball. The manga was first pub­lished in 1968, a time when vol­ley­ball was pop­u­lar in Ja­pan. Some of the new-sea­son sweat­shirts and T-shirts fea­ture her orig­i­nal prints. You’ll spot Natalia, a Viva! Vol­ley­ball char­ac­ter on a mouliné knit jumper in the show, as well as the quin­tes­sen­tial manga-style pair of eyes along with the words, “to be con­tin­ued”, in Ja­panese.

RUSS MEYER CHAR­I­TA­BLE TRUST

Did you catch the other Hol­ly­wood ref­er­ence in this col­lec­tion? Look 12’s zip-trimmed sweat­shirt stars Faster, Pussy­cat! Kill! Kill! from Amer­i­can di­rec­tor Russ Meyer, known for de­pict­ing fe­male em­pow­er­ment. About three go-go dancers who em­bark on a spree of kid­nap­ping and mur­der in the Cal­i­for­nian desert, the 1965 movie is re­garded as sem­i­nal in fem­i­nist films.

For Michele, it was the bold graph­ics of the movie poster that caught his at­ten­tion. He sidestepped the fe­ro­cious femme fa­tales and adopted the campy style of the text. This sur­pris­ingly lighthanded touch seemed to con­vey that a sub­tle evo­ca­tion of this cult clas­sic suf­ficed his ode to Hol­ly­wood.

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