Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Cruise ’20 represents freedom and choice

It has been a little over four years that Gucci was handed over to the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, a name the world now knows as more of a visionary than just a designer. His insightful views on fashion, art, and contemporary society led to the daring possibilities he tames for the venerable fashion house. For Gucci Cruise 2020, Michele turned to one of his most favourite places from youth—Rome’s Musei Capitolini. The show panned out like a siege of one of the world’s oldest museums as he showcased the collection illuminated only with torch lights held by the guests. 

Alessandro Michele

There was an explicit activism for women’s reproductive rights with statements splashed on jackets and a sparkly uterus embroidered on a soft white dress; it wasn’t a blink-and-you-miss detail, and intentionally so. Body and face tattoos across the mouth, bold lips on an otherwise bare face and untamed hair reiterated the fact that Michele is a connoisseur of details. Ever since Michele took control over one of fashion’s loftiest houses, he has changed more than its logo (Michele brought back the house’s double-G Marmont logo). The time when Gucci’s shows were just a visual spectacle are history; with Michele, one must read between the lines to penetrate into the philosophy of the collection. 

The location: Alessandro Michele’s homecoming to Rome, where Gucci’s creative headquarters is stationed, reinstates his love for the old and the pagan. Models took over Rome’s Musei Capitolini, conceived by Michelangelo in 1471, and strutted down the chequered floor alongside Roman, medieval, and Renaissance-era artefacts.

The collection: Michele’s childhood in Rome and his firm belief in self-expression informed Cruise ’20. Gucci-esque flora and fauna prints, plaids, and checks layered with golden accessories heavy with Roman motifs were the vein of the collection. The pieces speak for Michele and, in extension, Gucci’s stance on women’s reproductive rights. The iconic date, “22.5.78”, the day when Italy legalised abortion, emblazoned on a jumper, an explicit statement of “My Body My Choice” on the back of a jacket, and a uterus embroidered on a floor-length gown takes the momentous pro-choice conversation forward. It also featured frequent pops of colour through sequinned skull caps and logo’d guitar cases. Michele uses Roman and Grecian togas and capes alongside the playful, pop symbol of Mickey Mouse, transgressing barriers of time and art forms. 

Celebrities in attendance: The show drew a gang of stars, including Elton John, Zoe Saldana, A$AP Rocky, Salma Hayek, K-Pop singer Kai, Harry Styles, and more.

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