Milan Fashion Week got off to a rip-roaring start with Gucci’s ode to all things glitzy and retro-inspired. Designer Alessandro Michele gave us 70s Princess Diana tweeds, 80s Dynasty shoulders and the razzle-dazzle of Elton John’s vintage costume box, via the overblown excesses of Farrah Fawcett hair.
Vintage influences are nothing new from Michele, who has magically revamped the Gucci label with his references from the past. This season, the designer did nothing more than evolve his signature maximalist style, delivering looks that will resonate in a big way with the fast-to-market end of the high street.
Many of the looks on display confirmed messages seen elsewhere this season, albeit done with all of Michele’s customary panache –sequins, tick; satin, tick; metallics, tick. But running alongside were strong-shouldered tweed blazers and demure, ladylike pleated skirts, exaggerated blousons (emerging as a key trend here in Milan) and starry red-carpet 70s maxi dresses, along with a classic brown mink coat – the signature uniform of Milanese matrons and ‘Park Avenue princesses’ back in the 80s.
Flame-like jewelled trims were the motif du jour, seen on everything from the shoulders of 80s-style leather jackets to boldly coloured knitwear. These were worked in Michele’s incongruous style, featuring delicate 18th-century sprigged florals. Branding was everywhere – from the Gucci slogan sweats to the double GGs embedded in plush velvet, or worked as a fine jacquard on linear knit separates and all-over micro repeat prints.
As ever, the collection was the sum of its parts. The influence of items like those jewelled blousons and 70s shellsuits, plus the myriad accessories – from the chunky jewelled double-G pendants to the padded hairbands – will be the high-street’s takeaways for S/S 18.
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