Flora and fauna, flying pigs and other contradictions for Gucci SS19??
Flying pig variation: Will this go beyond this coming season as an emblem of Gucci? We’ll see...
Flora and fauna, flying pigs and other contradictions for Gucci SS19??
SUPREMO - Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2018 - 12:00am

The stage was set, this time at an abandoned-looking building in the Huangpu district of Shanghai. An usher leads you to a flight of stairs, gives you this “come hither” look, like he’s about to let you in on a secret. ?There’s always that moment of awe when you see Alessandro Michele’s work up close. It’s more than personal — the staged-slash-unstaged theatricality and natural absurdity in which he presents his work is the stuff of goosebumps and wet dreams, at least for me. ?

All of the above, please

This time the mannequins were arranged like they were about to do a curtain call. But instead of an ending, they were ready to bow down to start it all over again. In my mind’s eye, I see an ensemble of outcasts, misfits and mad geniuses wearing 2019’s spring-summer best. These no-norm nomads and intellectual indulgents are all in one room, just letting themselves be. Each player brought his or her own spotlight, highlighting what seemed contradictory at first but soon flowed with its own beautiful harmony. ?There were leather and beaded jockstraps worn as outerwear, giant vests, flying pigs in suits, cuffs and brooches, flora and fauna everywhere. Gucci uses fabric among other style tools to put together fragmented pieces of the fashion puzzle and juxtaposes them with one another, overcoming genre, stereotype and cliché. And in doing so, Gucci creates something that is both high art and popular culture.?

M. Butterfly: Song Liling never looked this good

Love letter to Leo and Perla ?

Leopards and roses and memories

Later, I would learn that this particular collection is Michele’s love letter to Leo De Bernardinis and Perla Peragallo, vanguards of Italian experimental theater — the most decadent and transgressive of their lot. Theirs is a “theater of contradiction” that suggests radical alternatives to the society of their times. Now you see why the artist and philosopher behind Gucci is attracted to this duo. It reflects in his work — it dares the establishment, goes against conformism and challenges its power.? Fashion can’t be just fashion, producing merely for the aesthetic sense of it all, a repeat of what has been seen and experienced again and again. Fashion must rather be like theater, which to Bernardini is “a laboratory to experiment with the complexity of life in simplified situations of space and time.” Also like theater, fashion can create an illusion, a certain nostalgia for another life. Thus, its transformative power. I knew exactly how that felt when I put on that beaded leopard and rose-printed cardigan from Gucci’s spring-summer collection. ?Delusional? Poetic? Insane? Visionary? All of the above or none of the above? Whatever it is, Gucci’s bold direction spearheaded by Michele took jaded style peeps into a new direction, a direction that reverberated across and evoked new possibilities for the senses.?The frontier of the impossible turned possible by Gucci. ??

Some days we wear salmon.

*    *    *

In the Philippines, Gucci is located at Greenbelt 4 and Shangri-La Plaza East Wing. Follow the author @officialtimyap on IG and Twitter, iamtimyap on FB. 

GUCCI SS19 LEO DE BERNARDINIS PERLA PERAGALLO
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