It began in what looked a bit like a theatre, erected in Gucci’s brand new office just outside of the city. A large purple curtain usually suggests so. Were we to be treated to some sort of performance? Not as such. Though, as the curtain opened, what we did get was visual spectacle in the form of a giant pyramid and plexiglass tunnels that wove their way around it. Which gave us space station. Or perhaps airport? Those tubes from the OA, but less steamy, more shiny? And, talking of the OA, was there not a hint of time travel to this? Not in any typical sci-fi sense, but an idea of moving across time and place and dragging back treasures from each. Mr Michele called it an alchemist’s garden, in which occurs “a transformative whirl that reassembles fragments, codes and stories projected on the a fresh horizon of a sense.” Which meant a swirl of references – the first look tweed, pearls and a sensible pleated skirt moving into something almost Eastern, suggested in the rich floral fabrications and the Asian paper umbrellas. A touch of the cowboys, too – boots, studded shirts and a hefty amount of python. A bit eighties rodeo queen? All mixed-up with Victorian ruffles, an AC/DC band t-shirt, Farrah Fawcett curls. We could go on. For the boys (because, lest we forget, this is their first full co-ed show) natch our favourite look was the wrestler-esque all-in-one in lurex with a cut-out across the chest and nice pronounced crotch moment. Or those schoolboy shorts worn with shrunken patterned knitwear. Could we say there something sexual here? Or are we just frustrated? Not amped-up sexy, more kinky, perverse. There were handcuffs. Dog collars. Lots of wipe-down rubber. That crystal eleganza moment, where the model’s bodies were completely covered in a shimmering crystal bodysuit, extending all the way over the head. Would it be wrong to say that this gave us alien stripper? A look, we should stress, is wholeheartedly endorsed. Spesh in the hands of Mr Michele. Because then it’s beautiful. Everything he touches is. Call him the man with the Michele touch.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans