Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Counting down to Paris Fashion Week A/W16 women’s wear has never been so tense. It’s just around the corner and BALENCIAGA’s show is the one responsible for the anticipatory stampede! With Milan coming to a close today, the spacious show tents of the elite houses closed – their precious cargo packed and boxed up for delivery to the next port of call. It was all about power, scale and trade – with Prada’s sailor hat attached to a cargo silhouette suggestive of high trading aspirations. Despite this, the grandeur of the large tents only produced a few remarkable coats.
The PRADA show felt more Titanic than ever when compared to the valued modesty on display from the other Casas di Moda (Marni, Jil Sander, No.21, Max Mara and Bottega Veneta). Are we heading towards an iceberg? Are we reaching the speed that will result in catastrophe? Let’s crash it all!
But this text is not about PRADA, but GUCCI. With captain Alessandro Michele at the ship’s helm, delivering three women’s and three men’s collections (adding one Resort and one Pre-Fall) the production scale has not only become overwhelming in terms of sheer number of garments, but also exaggerated. Defined and readable trends on the runway have always been on the radar of low cost production manufactures. They are certainly appreciated by groups like ZARA and H&M who easily know where to pluck and corrupt designs to join global street satisfaction through endlessly copying Michele’s work. In a city like Amsterdam, where second-hand stores abound and excellent flea markets offer a major selection of that 70’s decade, you just need the eye for quality to find that look. Add original accessories and awkward footwear to become part of that ephemeral trend. Oh yeah!
GUCCI’s Michele has not only turned fashion into commerce, he has also activated that 70’s second-hand style deep in our fashion heart; we all recognize those looks or have seen them in our parents’ photo albums. The body ploy in here is through clashing-crashing them all with a public demonstration, make-up and the right attitude. It totally works. Except some looks are hard to imitate such as look 31, my favorite, inserting varsity jacket sleeves into a full dégradé orange printed coat: Bravo!
Accidentally this week I watched the documentary The Greatest Party On Earth, I highly recommend it. It’s about the Islamic Republic of Iran and its curriculum vitae on politically pretending. There, celebrating 2500 years of the Persian monarchy in 1971, is where I saw so many GUCCI moments. It’s not only Iran’s shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980) and his Empress wife Farah Pahlavi of Iran welcoming world delegations in order to expose their fetishism on royal taste, it’s mastery on satisfaction as frustration in a world that becomes more and more addicted to short term illusions. It’s like astronomical fashion being addicted to analgesics trying to forget its own problems.