Thursday 22nd February

| BY Roxy Lola

Gucci Present Their Joint Women’s And Men’s Collections For AW18

We’re not in the Gucci garden anymore… Under fluorescent lights, sterilised green walls, the monotonous zombie-like beeping of a heart rate monitor echoed. And so we found ourselves in an operating theatre, ready to watch a dissection of clothes, a dissection of eras and cultures. A fashion operation. The drip of liquid kept a drum like rhythm anatomising choral chanting. This was the Gucci cyborg, a post-human hybrid of nature and culture, masculine and feminine. Donna Haraway’s ‘Cyborg Manifesto’ was referenced, a metaphor of the rejection of fixed boundaries.

And so it was a mashup of genders, cultures and of all that is good in Alessandro Michele’s Gucci world. The Gucci Cyborgs walked in a machine like march around operating beds and equipment. In contrast to the low and smoky lighting at previous Gucci shows, this was the brightest light, every detail on display. Surgery time. Simpler suits, lighter than usual, propelled them forward, knitted balaclavas felt quite menacing and all those classic Alessandro Michele flora drape silk dresses were still intact. They wore mesh body bags, turbans, togas and silk scarves draped round their heads as hoods.

A usual brew of prints and fabrics felt at home, this time less going on, smoother. Loved the hooded dress in dripping blood red velvet. A collaboration with special effects genius’ Makinarium created the creepiest, most clever lifelike props. A hybrid of practical and visual effects. Models held replicas of their heads, a representation of growth and evolution, third eyes were placed on foreheads always watching, small dragons were carried and the Gucci snake hissed. Come to life at last. Scarily good. An utter dystopia, the new modern day Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. To quote the press release, “The symbol of an emancipatory possibility through which we can decide to become what we are.” It feels sinisterly peaceful in this Cyborg realm. Bad things happen here, but they look oh so good.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans