Monday 18th February

| BY Claudia Croft

Gucci: Ready-To-Wear AW19

Alessandro Michele got to the heart of the fashion conundrum with his Gucci show which grappled with the obsession of our age: authenticity. If we put on a mask – or contrive a look are we being fake? Not at all, argues Michele. Fashion allows us to be more ourselves. “The mask becomes the means by which we can become what we think we are,” he argued in the show notes. Whether it’s revealing or concealing, a look or mask is always a reflection of something. Stepping onto the vast circular Gucci set was like walking into a disco mirror ball. Every surface was reflective and the walls were lined with flashing lights. As hectic and discombobulating as the catwalk was the collection hung together beautifully. Michele’s approach is evolving. Past Gucci catwalks have taken a glory-of-thrift approach, as if Gucci were the most rarefied and wonderful vintage shop on earth. You never knew what treasure you’d find but every piece was special. The wonderful cacophony of randomness was all part of the fun.

This collection seemed different. If previous Gucci collections drew their strength from a serendipitous splendour, the AW19 collection drew its power from a consistency of silhouette. Michele focused in on strong shouldered, double-breasted jackets with defined waists, and oversized and unstructured suiting. Dresses were short, 1960’s in flavour and worn with lace tights. The men’s pieces carried a strong sense of androgyny with pretty boys in floral jeans or lace blouses and many of models wore spiked harnesses and Friday The 13th face masks. The result? There was method in the madness and silhouettes to die for. Less whimsy, more power. Gucci roared.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.