Gucci makes Hollywood debut


LOS ANGELES – On election night across much of America, in the shadow of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and in the midst of the breathless wait for Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” movie, true Gucci designer Alessandro Michele has presented the “Gucci Love Parade”, its first in-person show since February 2020, at Hollywood Boulevard.

Style and fame collided in a conflagration of marabou, lace and lamé bathed in pink and purple marquee lights. It was hard to escape the feeling that everything was a movie and that everyone was just a character in it. That after 18 months of living through screens, the boundaries between fashion and celluloid fantasy had finally collapsed, split the seams.

An entire city block had been cordoned off, each side of the Walk of Stars lined with hundreds of Gucci signature canvas director chairs. Gwyneth Paltrow, in a new take on the red velvet Gucci suit she wore at the VMAs in 1996, chatted with Dakota Johnson (in spiky black sequins), who is dating her ex-husband. Nearby sat Salma Hayek Pinault, in a silver and blue sequined shirt dress, who stars in “House of Gucci” and is married to François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, who owns the real Gucci.

Jared Leto, who is a muse of Michele, and also in “House of Gucci”, paraded the catwalk in white denim, aviators and double breasted blazer. Just like Miranda July, in a strawberry cardigan trimmed with faux fur, chunky Gucci logo briefs and stockings. On the sidelines, Billie Eilish (in crystal cap) and Miley Cyrus (in sapphire fringes and buttery yellow feathers) applauded.

“It’s a dream come true,” Michele said at a post-show press conference, explaining why he decided to avoid Milan for Los Angeles. “There was no better place to restart.”

It was in May 2020, after all, when much of the world was isolating itself and the fashion world itself was in crisis, that Mr. Michele first declared a system overhaul. of industry, coming off the trail of the collections of four cities. and abandonment of the old fall and spring categories. Since then, and perhaps more than any other creator, he has resolutely embarked on a distinct path: to create “Guccifest”, a mini film festival with a Gucci mini-series directed by Gus Van Sant; “hack” Balenciaga in April (and let Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia hack it right away).

Coming to Hollywood, which Mr. Michele called “American Olympus,” to get back on track was a logical next step.

Not just because of the stories his mother told him about Hollywood that inspired him to want to design clothes. Or because, as Michele said, Gucci has deep roots in the jet set and larger than life, or because the brand has sponsored the annual LACMA gala for many years.

But because more and more the traditional gravitational and social rules of what to wear when and where no longer apply, and this is largely due to Mr. Michele’s work at Gucci. He systematically ignores old ideas about day and night or fantasy and sport or men and women, hopscotch by historical reference and ultimately constructs his characters in a way that was only available in the movies – or recognized. only in movies.

Her clothes are shameless costumes – they revel in the joy of dressing up, rather than pushing a figure forward or exploring construction. He designs to a degree of maximalist emotion rather than modernism. (To say that its collections look like the ultimate vintage store is a legitimate complaint.)

So this time around there were silver and gold goddess folds from Marilyn Monroe and lace nightgowns worthy of Rita Hayworth; souvenir palm print shirts and cotton turf and cowboy hats fresh off the bus; Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra dresses and Joan Crawford shoulders. There were the backcountry variables and the Edith Head and Adrian era, when costume designers were also celebrity designers because they understood that life, as much as the world, is a stage. , and that everyone dress for their entrance, my dear.

That’s why Mr. Michele placed his show in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard: to emphasize the fact that just getting ready to go out for milk is a performance of itself. Especially now that any moment can be found online and everyone is the director of their own social media series.

And maybe you want to pull a chunky chunky faux fur over your corset then. Wear a mint green or seashell pink satin three-piece suit with large faux orchids on the lapel. Wear knit bike shorts under a yachting blazer with cowboy boots. No matter! Add a sparkling cat mask. Or maybe a feather boa. It’s ridiculous (it is). It’s an explosion (it is).

Next, strut the center of a city street as spotlights shoot the sky. And everyone watching is wondering what scene it is exactly.

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