Gucci meets Mrs Doubtfire
If you want to stand out in a saturated and highly competitive market and grab some attention while your sales are in a slump here’s how to do it:
1. Change your creative Director.
2. Dig out the wardrobe from your fathers secretary’s circa 1973.
3. Mix it with some nineteenth century, French Military uniforms ( that shrank in the wash )
and, Hey Presto! you have a fashion show, more or less. And that pretty much describes Gucci‘s collection, for Autumn – Winter 2015.
Last week, Frida Giannini, Gucci’s Creative Director for the last nine years, left the company, sooner than anticipated and apparently the whole menswear collection, was replaced, even down to the seating plan and models, in as little as five days. It has been suggested that her successor will be accessories designer Alessandro Michele, and it was he who appeared on the catwalk at the end of the show. Although there are also rumours that Frida Giannini’s predecessor, Tom Ford might return.
All that withstanding, with sales stagnant at $4 Billion last year, Gucci’s management obviously felt the need to do something drastic to change that dynamic, or lack of. So if this is a sign of things to come, only time will tell, but it has certainly garnered a lot of attention so far, if maybe for the wrong reasons.
Who are you Kidding?
So what about the collection itself? A bookish cross dresser that was strangely missing the camp. It was less androgyny and more a mix up of wardrobes. More Frank Spencer or Mrs Doubtfire than Conchita Wurst, it presented some interesting questions about what is, or isn’t acceptable within Menswear. For instance how some fabrics, lace for instance are only acceptable for women? Lace T-shirt anyone? Or how the combination of a silk blouse with a wool overcoat can be so provocative. For an idea of how much attention this is getting, have a look at the comments for the show on Style.com, and see for yourself. It makes us realise just how entrenched we still are in what is acceptable or is not for men to wear. Has globalization diversified fashion and taste, or homogenized it?
Fashion takes itself way too seriously sometimes and maybe this was just a playful parody of that. Maybe it was all a big a joke, but judging by the amount of attention this collection has received so far, maybe the joke is on us. Whatever it is, it certainly whets the appetite to see what the next chapter at Gucci will be and who will be writing it?