It's hardly fair to talk about Gucci without making any reference to its creative director Alessandro Michele. Gucci's meteoric rise to being part of the larger cultural zeitgeist is in parts, thanks to Michele's revamp of its visual identity—taking references from the art world and periods of opulence, and then mashing them with deep dives into the fashion house's archives.
In other words: Gucci has been a smorgasbord of colours, textures, prints, embellishments and everything extra.
There's a lot to see within one collection but we've come to embrace it. The excessive styling may seem intimidating initially, yet has left us with pieces that can be easily broken apart and interpreted in our own way. If there was one thing that Michele's Gucci championed, it would be the sense of irreverent individuality that he has imbued to every look.
Fast forward to almost five years since Michele's appointment, the spring/summer 2020 collection almost seemed like a departure from the Gucci that we've grown accustomed to. Gone are the flash and flounces that make for visually arresting looks from the very first glance. Instead, a majority of the menswear collection played on clean bursts of colour (look 16), minimal patterns and languid cuts. Colour-blocking took centrestage (looks 21, 48, 70 and 71) especially on the pieces that were so pared back that they seemed almost un-Michele.
But that's inherently what the collection was about—a refresh of what you thought you knew about Gucci. The spring/summer 2020 collection was actually reminiscent of Michele's game-changing debut collection for the fashion house. There's the similar focus on the cut of the clothes and the subtle, slight updates on traditional silhouettes.
Building on the idea of uniforms in modern society, the collection centred around tailoring and suiting, often reworking proportions—shrinking blazers (looks 46 and 69) and hiking up trousers (looks 21 and 57)—and challenging the notion of what makes a 'suit'. There was a belted Canadian tuxedo (look 84), broken suits in various iterations (some crafted in similar hues but of contrasting fabrications), and printed coordinates featuring signature Gucci motifs. What stood out were the windbreaker suits worn over a formal shirt and tie (looks 19, 59, 71, 79 and 83)—Gucci's take on melding sportswear and tailoring.
That sporty-meets-tailoring vibe is apparent in Gucci's accessories for the season too. Its Gucci 1955 Horsebit range is updated with newer silhouettes, including a handsome top-handle version that's a cross between a traditional briefcase and a traveller's duffel. Michele sells product really well at Gucci (thanks once again to the more-is-more styling), and if the clothes are more detail-oriented, the accessories are strong accents to balance off the visual mundanity. Take for example the mismatched Gucci Ultrapace sneakers and the oversized chain-linked sunglasses—both still within that off-kilter sense of style that Michele's known for.
Could this be the beginning of a more subdued Gucci? Perhaps. But what's more certain is that this is proof that Alessandro Michele is no one-trick pony.
View Gucci's complete line-up of its spring/summer 2020 collection in the gallery above.