The Gucci Moment

I made a purchase this week; Gucci’s black, wool twill pyjama jacket with white piping. On the same day, a
colleague happened to buy the matching trousers that make up the suit, and in the days
previous, two other editors snapped up the slip-on kangaroo fur-lined loafers, while a third editor is still
kicking herself that she didn’t buy a pair earlier, since the
worldwide search that ensued is proving fruitless – depressingly,
fruitless. Yes, this is Vogue, and you might think that’s
normal behaviour here, but I can assure you there hasn’t been an
on-brand shopping epidemic like this since Phoebe joined Celine.

Picture credit: Getty

In case you’ve been living under a rock for a year, Gucci,
and its new front man, Alessandro
Michele is where it’s at. He makes retro look modern, he makes
it look like something we want to look like now. And importantly,
it’s trickling through beyond the corridors of Vogue, too;
you only have to walk into his store to see the frisson of
excitement that’s unravelling over his vintage-y accessories and
jewel-coloured ruffled ready-to-wear.

Picture credit: PA

Picture credit: Rex

Women want in. And who can blame them? Michele, with his
bearded friendly face, long dark hair and fingers loaded in silver
rings is a cool guy; not standoff-ish cool, but refreshingly,
all-welcoming cool and that’s a novel thing in this industry. He
suits fashion’s new era of you-can-sit-with-us warm and cosy. It’s
a trait best illustrated post-show, backstage, where he invites
everyone to browse the clothes up close and personal. His models
stay and sip tea, he happily hangs around, hugging and smiling
while he chats through his ideas of his Gucci – girly, geeky,
gloriously decorated – to swarms of international press; nothing is
scripted (unlike other designers whose cookie-cutter patter seems
carefully rehearsed) and what’s more, there is no pushy PR by his
side to hurry things along. It’s as though he has all the time in
the world, even though, he apparently designs up until the very
last minute, only stopping in the seconds before a show

His new spring collection was as deliciously colourful as ever; Lurex
knits, natty box pleated skirt suits, silky bomber jackets,
corsages, ladybird stamped ties, and turquoise Mary Janes all in
the mix. Tune the eye and you’ll notice other details too, like the
ironed-in creases on his suiting. Michele imagined his bespectacled
beret-wearing girl staying over at her boyfriend’s place, taking a
little overnight bag and not bothering to unpack the night before,
and so the morning after, things are a little crinkled, a little

Picture credit: PA

It takes balls of steel to steer Gucci away from the slick
dark glossy world it previously occupied, and out into, well,
literally the open air. His resort collection presented in New York earlier this year
involved models crossing a road, from one building and into another
where his audience were sat. That crossing was crucial, the clothes
were out, lived-in; they looked like they belonged to the models
wearing them. This is a girl who explores the city riding the
subway (if the Glen Luchford advertising campaign is anything to go
by, which, by the way is a U-turn of such colossal scale, that the
Tom Ford days seem like a million years ago when in fact, it was
only a decade).

The second time I wear my new Gucci blazer, it flies open
in the wind and I only notice now that inside, on the reverse, is
an embroidered greeny-blue bird the size of a 50p; it isn’t any
particular kind of bird, just one that happened to fly into
Michele’s imagination. That’s the thing about him, he considers the
details; no one else would ever know it was there except for the
wearer, yes, this is a man who knows how to tug at the
heartstrings. God help our purse

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