Gucci Looks Back on Childhood to Redefine Masculinity

Gucci abandoned the co-ed formula to go back to fashion week with a proper mens show (58 looks and only 10 were womenswear). "It's my fifth anniversary at the helm of Gucci and I wanted to go back and rediscover all my collections," explained Alessandro Michele after the show. "My first collection also happened to be a menswear show and it was created spontaneously. Only after I realized how impactful it had been in the fashion system." This season he analyzed masculinity starting from the stereotypes that society uses to educate children (he feels that Italy has more limits than other countries) and that today's values are a bit outdated. "Adults raise children in a patriarchal mindset moulding them with a violent and toxic model of masculinity," continued the designer. “It's like a kind of imprinting that force a virility that is too oppressive. This, as a consequence, nourishes sexism and abuse, not only against women but in general." His suggestion is to restore our attitudes going back to childhood, rediscovering and keeping the innocence of the virgin mind of a baby. The collection went in this direction, exploring the mini wardrobe and making it big, mixing it out to tear down every kind of boundaries: the Liberty of London prints (one of the collaboration together with the Richard Hell and Christopher Wool inspired t-shirt) for little jackets, puffers and shirts, little girls dresses and fake fur coats were worn by confident boys that wore them à la Kurt Cobain or à la Teddy Boys. “Childhood means romanticism and this is missing in today's aggressive phallocratic society. If every one of us would free his feminine side everything would be easier and happier," stated the designer. “Going back to infancy means going back in time and this is the key to redefine things. Time is something that you can't stop, that's why I'm not nostalgic, but you can learn from everything in the past to be stimulated and inspired for the future. That was also the meaning of the swinging pendulum, the symbol that marks the passing of the time.  Fashion's power has impacted our lives with trends and cultural revolutions." Alessandro Michele always gives meaning to his shows and projects, but this season the statement was really strong and in a season where the debate of new masculinity is very hot, he didn't leave any shadow about his point of view.

 

Within the Italian creative generation, Marco de Vincenzo stood put as one of the most, among the very few, talented designers of the new decade. He created his own recognisable language with the women collection and for the past two seasons, he has been developing his menswear that debuted last June at Pitti. But what surprise the most is just how a great mind can have such a derivative vision in the format of the presentation, styling and concept. The items were interesting and they were the result of the designer’s delicate touch, as well as his ability in designing and not copying. However, the way they were presented weakened the strength of his work, which could resemble the likes of Gucci or Missoni. The casting wasn’t original, as it resembled too much of Alessandro Michele’s work. “Menswear excites me more than womenswear because it culturally has more boundaries,” explained the designer backstage before the show. "This helps me to balance the excesses of the womens part. I'm very close to the product so I try to not be too literal when I design.” For example, the pleated loden coat was a beautiful mix of romanticism and traditions. That's why from a real talent we all expect an original 360-degree vision.

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