How Gucci Got it's Geek Back

For as long as I can remember being aware of clothes and fashion I can remember Gucci. I can remember blingy GG belt buckles, controversial campaigns and a plethora of hideous GUCI slogan tees at the Vic Market (a sign that a brand has truly 'made it'), but more than anything else I can remember Gucci always being the fashion week show I waited to see and hear about. During his long reign Tom Ford gave the brand the ultimate extreme makeover, presenting the Gucci woman as a strong, sexy and powerful force. Post his departure in 2004, Frida Giannini took the reigns and the Gucci woman became much more understated and refined and while I don't mind this Gucci, I did miss the shine of Tom Ford and the unashamed provocation his partnership with Carine Roitfeld bought to the brand.

Today we are faced with yet another Gucci, a geek-chic Gucci all thanks to Alessandro Michele, a man hired by Tom Ford in 2002 who previously lent his skills to Fendi as a senior accessories designer. Michele has swiftly removed the refined & classic maturity Giannini worked on and has replaced it with a colour-filled vintage texture sensation. Sarah Mower nailed this transformation when she wrote for Style.com of his second collection, "(he is) a risk-taker and revolutionary who has not so much wiped the slate clean at Gucci as doodled all over it, coloured it in, stuck sequins on it, and tied it up with a grosgrain bow". While still stringently historic and Italian, this new Gucci is like a freshly shucked oyster for the fashion world's picky palette and Michele's vision for creating a happy, beautiful and careless vibe through is clothes is right on time as we move into a new and optimistic time of fashion romanticism. Another clear sign that it's a new age for the house is it's born again presence on the backs of the right people. Key quirky pieces including the highly sought after fur Princetown loafer (and all Gucci loafers for that matter) and the floral Dionysus bag are both pieces that are already requiring wait lists.

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Michele's Gucci initially disappointed me, as it lacked all the 70's disco glam of the Tom Ford era and at first glance, let's be honest, it kinda resembles a designer op-shop collaboration with Andy Warhol. It's by no means the easiest collection to get on board with however as I look past the oversized vintage glasses, beaded cardigans and the annoying hipster inspired berets, I actually find myself appreciating the individual pieces, oddly drawn to this new nerdy vintage vibe. Is it just me? I mean all runway collections are designed & styled to create a level of theatre, so if we don't look at the runway as literal looks and instead look at individual pieces, there are definitely some key winners in there. You might feel like you have to look hard, but I promise they're there.

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Images from Vogue Runway, lefashion.com, aelida.com, designerleather pinterest, oraclefox.com, gastrochic.comjaiperdumaveste.com