GucciFest – OUVERTURE OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER ENDED – Thoughts on Episodes 1 and 2 – The Fashion Image at The End of 2020 – Text by Ivo Barraza Castaneda

Gucci. Gucci, Gucci, Gucci. The GucciFest is Gucci’s new project to make us talk about the name of the brand. The project is  all about presenting their new collection named “OVERTURE OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER ENDED”, the collection is presented in a seven episode mini series of fashion film, co-directed by the film maker Gus Van Sant and Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci.

  • The Possitive Evolution of Fashion Film:

The fact that collections have been forced to be presented in digital formats has exponentiated the evolution of fashion film in a couple of months. the use of film as a media in fashion would almost seem luxurious or mainly experimental a year ago. Now, fashion film is hegemonic and therefore the sense of competition is growing among brands and designers. This sense of competition creates a very exciting energy for the spectators who are constantly discovering more and better fashion films.

Now, the use of moving image in fashion doesn’t fall far from the tree of photography that serves  the same industry. Fashion Photography usually pokes out a little  middle finger to any sense of meaning, since most of the times, specially for brands owned by the big groups, especially for brands like Gucci, fashion photography is meant to mean nothing else but fashion. In an equation where fashion  equals luxury fashion, equals a high status on the social hierarchy and therefore the imaginary competencies involved in making an individual visually compatible to that image. In that note, we can start asking ourselves questions:

What are the competencies that would require a human being to appear at the top of the social hierarchy? Can the attributes that make an individual appear at the top of the social hierarchy absolute, even as abstract or semantic concepts or is the concept a simple construct? And as a sub-consequent  question, what is there in Gucci, even in this film; that makes us proclaim it as fashion, besides simple language?

(When I finished writing this article I realized that actually defining fashion film as a completely new media is not accurate, since film has been used in perfume commercials for decades.)

  • The Truth About Fashion Politics:

There is a Spanish, French and English speaker on a TV in the first episode of OVERTURE OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER ENDED. The speaker talks about the sexual liberation from binarism, calling it a social construct from the XVIII and XIX century. Scientifically or historically speaking, even if politically I want to agree with the subject; I am not sure the facts are right… The tone remains modest and pop, almost like green wash, just whatever is acceptable for a fashion brand to say, something that is in trend and doesn’t disturb little costumers. In a celebrator tone nevertheless.

In the second episode however, there is a naked woman and a naked man in the cafe where the main actions happen. Incoherently enough, Gucci decides to censor the nipples of the naked woman and not the nipples of the naked man. A shame! It is a shame when there is such little coherent on any political speech. It makes the entire speech all together mean nothing.

I would like an explanation on the logic of trying to celebrate the liberation of sexuality from binarism and then censoring a female nipple and not a male one.

  • Amazing Cinematography:

The cinematography of the film is immaculate. There is a very playful use of the camera to tell the story. From the very start of the first episode when the focus of the frame is pointed inside a symmetrical room that lets us see and entrance, but the model actually appears from one side of the room. These little ludic details in the photographic narrative of the film makes it very entertaining . In that sense, the most entertaining segment from OVERTURE OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER ENDED, between episode 1 and 2 is definitely episode 1. Not that there is any reason to put the two  episodes in a competition, since they are actually very different one from the other. Personally, I’m not a fan of the way the film has been coloured in post production. It is very true to what Alessandro Michele has been feeding us with “as Gucci” but in my mind it would have been more exciting to see it reinterpreted in a newer way. The high luminosity and low saturation filter feels a little too repetitive from the images the brand has been putting out since 2013, and it is discussed among fashion followers.

So far, my favourite approach is the dubbed dialogs in Italian from episode 2. I love the way they solved the fact that fashion models tend to be very awkward as actors, and probably having the models act, even if they were good,  would feel cringe in the film, so claps to make it fun instead of cringe. It is  that type of problems that fashion solve really well in any format.

  • Strategic:

Fashion film comes along with attributes that classic still images can not provide. One of them is duration. A fashion photo lasts seconds, it always has, in magazines and advertising. Fashion Film makes us stay longer in front of the subject giving it attention and visibility that are probably the most valuable things in life for humans after time. Also, it is a good strategy to make a series of seven episodes released daily. Let’s face it how many times have you had something different to say every day about the same fashion brand? Clever idea.

  • Fashion After All:

Here are some little fashion notes to take from the Gucci OVERTURE OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER ENDED collection, from episodes 1 and 2:

  1. Gucci prefers mid-calf length garments for this season.
  2. Gucci supports white socks.
  3. Gucci proposes to mix street-wear and tailored and fashionable pieces.
  4. The Gucci moccasin, in its most classical appearance will stay in as a core piece of the fashion house’s  collection.
  5. Gucci joins and validates luxury as the youth’s sub-culture trend of playful underwear,  in particular the bra , along with other layering elements for the more naturally conservative petit bourgeois.
  6. There is a recurrent use of woody-brown in the Gucci collection. It must be an important colour for the brand and the now.
  7. The Gucci mirrored monogram is shameless, fashionable. Perfect to show you have money.

 

I will continue these  thoughts and analysis going forward in the  next 5 episodes.

For more details about GucciFest you can read Diane’s earlier post: HERE

LINK TO WATCH THE SERIES:

https://www.guccifest.com/

Ivo Barraza Castaneda

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Ivo Barraza Castaneda

Hello, my name is Ivo. My three favorite things in life are: Thinking deeply about visual creation. I like having long discussions of ideas that might reinvent the course of history. And finally, spending time with the people I love. Since I was a child, I was always involved in some activity around plastic arts, music and literature. That’s how I learned to sew by hand at the age of five, which later led me to focus on my main professional media: Fashion Design.

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