Gucci at Milan Fashion Week 2018: a fabulous wtf - tidbits - MyGayToronto
Gucci at Milan Fashion Week 2018: a fabulous wtf By DREW ROWSOME 25 February 2018.
Please do not consider my disinterest in fashion as a slur against the art form. It has more to do with my inability to understand and study (and co-ordinate a coherent style) than any disdain or disrespect. I, for the most part, just do not have the tools at hand to write about fashion. I remember attending a runway show by the extraordinary Greta Constantine. Set in the basement of a massive auto dealership, it was and experience I will never forget but that I was incredible grateful that I didn't have to try to analyze or write about.
So when the new Gucci collection debuted at Milan Fashion Week 2018 and was instantly dubbed "wtf," I had to peruse. It is indeed, on first look, utterly wtf. But that is it's charm. And also where I found a way into talking about fashion. Discussion of a work of art involves it's emotional effect, thematic concerns, and construction. The Gucci collection offers plenty to dissect, discuss and diss.
Much of the collection appears to have been inspired by Game of Thrones. Some outfits are recreations, some pulled elements, and there are baby dragons and other reptiles. The models carrying replicas of their own severed heads may also be a reference to the copious violence that Game of Thrones is prone to. Or the severed heads may be a reference to the creepy medical bed/operating room set up in the middle of the runway. Or the operating room motif may reference the distinct serial killer vibe of two of the male models and their outfits, exploring the disturbing sex appeal of Michael C Hall in Dexter and Darren Criss in The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
From there the references explode in many directions: Frida Kahlo unibrows, bejewelled burqas, direct cultural appropriation of Indigenous religious wear, terrorist ski masks, post-modern modernist sunglasses, burlesque and chakras. There is a very witty bit of play with contrasting the Gucci logo with the one for the New York Yankees: making sport of fashion? It is dizzying and not at all coherent in a way that I can summarize. Until the pantsuit strung with glittery strands atop a pair of platform shoes capped by a model in a Ziggy Stardust haircut. This I understand. David Bowie synthesized anything and everything to his own ends, creating beauty out of chaos and obscure allusions or outright brazen theft.
I have read variations of the quote "Good artists copy, great artists steal" attributed to Picasso, Dali and Fellini: all artists who created visually overwhelming and breathtakingly original work. Reading any of the wonderful loopy interviews by Isaac Mizrahi where he discusses how he divines the inspiration for his collections, suggest that fashion may operate in the same way. Certainly Gucci designer Alessandro Michele is gleefully following his muse through any and all influences that catch his eye. Is it great fashion? I have no idea, I still don't feel qualified. But I do feel qualified to label the show itself provocative art of the most intriguing kind.
I should ask, one queen to another, new besties HRH Elizabeth and Anna Wintour what they think. Lizzie made a big splash at London's Fashion Week and she certainly knows a lot about games of thrones.