When Gucci announced in May that it would be abandoning the traditional fashion show calendar in favour of two seasonless, co-ed shows a year, it was clear that the house was intent on marching to the beat of its own drum.
Today, on the final day of Milan’s inaugural Digital Fashion Week, designer Alessandro Michele didn’t disappoint with the unveiling of a visual narrative feature which replaced models with designers cast from his own office.
Directed by London-based filmmaker Akinola Davies, the campaign was broadcast from the Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome and saw the brand’s staff take centre stage with clothes modelled by the people who created them. Stars included handbag designer Beatrice Gianni and women’s ready-to-wear designer Antonio Pecov.
It aired this afternoon, in the middle of a 12-hour live stream which began at 7am this morning via the brand’s website and social channels, offering a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a Gucci shoot as it happens in real time.
Entitled Gucci Epilogue, the showcase was intended as “The final act of a fairy tale” following a series of activations in which Michele has ripped up the fashion rule book.
These include the house’s last catwalk show in February, which saw the backstage action – from the makeup teams to the dressers – take pride of place on the catwalk, along with a campaign in May which was created by the models themselves, sans stylists, makeup artists or even a photographer.
“The collection, in short, is the end of the beginning of an experiment,” explained Michele, speaking in Italian with the words translated on screen. “Narrating it this way and presenting it this way, to the press, to the outside world, looking inside the mechanism of an advertising campaign like a peeping tom, is interesting to me as an element that dissociates the narrative of fashion from the show, from the representation of itself.”
The house also stressed that this was not a Cruise collection – as would typically be shown at this time of year – stating that although it did start life as a traditional seasonal offering, it took a different direction during lockdown and therefore changed beyond what it would have been under normal circumstances.