Before we start, we’d just like to put out a warning: if you’re not a fan of hyperbolic, vaguely hysterical expressions of adoration, look away now. Because we coudn’t possibly discuss Gucci’s AW16 show without reducing ourselves to quivering fangirls, devoid of the ability to truly express just how great Alessandro Michele’s latest collection was for the Italian fashion house. See? We told you. Hysterical.
Stay with us though; we think you’ll want to hear this. Since Michele took the helm at Gucci, he’s not only reinvented the label, he has also, in many ways, reinvented fashion. His collections aren’t just rich, loaded with references and superbly eclectic, they also have an irresistible commerical pull; one which is evident on Instagram, on the red carpet and, even more crucially, on the streets. Every ‘It’ girl, Hollywood actress and street style aficionado has bought into Gucci’s new look, and it seems not a day goes by when we don’t see a familiar face toting the Dionysus bag, warming their feet in those divisive furry loafers or sporting one of the multi-coloured frocks that have managed to work their way into our dreams.
Even if you don’t follow the catwalks, you (and your wardrobe) will most likely have been influenced by Gucci this season given that the high street is packed with pieces directly inspired by Alessandro Michele’s army of chic geeks. Ruffle blouses, pussybows, corsage details, loafers, lace… you name it, the high street’s done it. But if you really want to be top of the class, let us introduce you to Gucci AW16, otherwise known as the-only-way-we-want-to-dress-every-day-for-the-rest-of-our-lives. So far, so hyperbolic.
We promise we’re getting to the point. Which is the clothes. And just look at them. Or don’t, if you’re a fan of the pared-back, Scandi aesthetic. Because with Michele’s main muse being Catherine de’ Medici, the 16th Century queen, less is certainly not more.
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Imagine that during the Renissance, Andy Warhol had opened Studio 54. Throw in some 80s power silhouettes here and there, the usual helping of bookish charm and you’ve pretty much got it. We could wax lyrical about this sartorial treat all day- in fact, we almost have- but the easiest thing to do is show you some key elements that you can start working into your own outfits now.
1. Gucci has taken colour blocking to a whole new level. Bubblegum pink, canary yellow and emerald green were the stars of the colour spectrum, and when we say they were worn top-to-toe, we mean that literally. From the hats to the tights to the shoes, the new way to wear your favourite shade is all over, all at once. Not for the faint hearted.
2. Ruffle trims on jumpers and knitted tees are clearly still going to be big for autumn if Gucci has anything to do with it. Start shopping for yours on the high street now; Topshop, Sister Jane and H&M all have excellent options. Extra points for layering underneath a shift dress and layering on the pearls.
3. Ah yes, those pearls. Apparently, Catherine de’ Medici’s most famous jewels were huge, pear-shaped pearls, so clearly she would have approved of Gucci’s accessories. They decorated the collars of long, puff-sleeved dresses, high-necked printed gowns and one particularly incredible floor-sweeper, complete with fluted sleeves and a dramatic, swishy ruffle hem. Sigh.
4. We know not everyone’s a fan, but socks are shaping up to be the accessory du jour (what’s that in Italian?) Gucci’s had a sporty trim or were plain white and were worn with pretty embellished T-bar heels and metallic sandals, making for a cool contrast. We’re sold.
5. Polo necks in the chilly months are not exactly groundbreaking, but layer them under a sporty V-neck top and suddenly you’re a Gucci girl. Head to M&S right now for a deadringer of this cricket-inspired top.
6. Never underestimate the power of the two-piece. From sequin suits to jacquard skirts with matching jackets, Alessandro Michele is quickly making a name for himself as King of the co-ords and we’re more than happy to be his loyal subjects.
7. What is it about pussybows? Seriously, somehow these whimsical adornments make everything look exponentially prettier. Our favourites this time round came in bright pink satin or sat neatly under furry Peter Pan collars on epic outerwear. Ok, now’s the time to send help. We’re obsessed.