It took me just slightly over 30 years to finally make my way to Los Angeles, California. That first trip touring majoring production studios (and sitting in on the set of a daytime talk show) and visiting Hollywood Boulevard making sure I walk by/on every star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I immediately got it. I get why Hollywood is such a big deal—the entertainment monster that it is.
Having grown up around Hollywood-produced shows and entertainment, it felt surreal to be present in places that already felt familiar. Like the TCL Chinese Theatre that's the centrepiece of Gucci Love Parade—a staple in almost every The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon episode and the theatre of choice for a bevy of A-list Hollywood films the likes of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 1917, Joker, and more—these are icons that have already been part of my conscience even without having any physical, real-world interaction with them.
That could be said of Gucci. The Italian fashion house is 100 years old and whether you own a piece or even remotely interested in fashion, it's highly unlikely that the name is unfamiliar to anyone at all. And when coupled with the fact that Gucci has aligned itself with some of the most prominent as well as up-and-coming stars in Hollywood and beyond, it's a power-packed formula (calculated or not) that's part of the reason for its ubiquitousness.
At Gucci Love Parade, it was a show of force—both of Gucci's magnitude of influence as well as how it fits right at home in Hollywood. As expected, the show as attended by some of the biggest names in pop culture including Billie Eilish, Dwayne Wade, Jeremy O. Harris, Steven Yuen, Tyler the Creator, and Lizzo. Others were part of the parade: Jared Leto and a ripe-for-the-season appearance by Macaulay Culkin.
In the show notes, creative director Alessandro Michele credited his affinity for Hollywood to his mother who worked in the film industry as an assistant in a production company. "When I started thinking about the way I wanted to celebrate this new chapter in my adventurous job, I thought about mum and her precious legacy. I thought about the worship of beauty she fed me with. About the indefeasible gift of dreaming and the mythopoetic aura of cinema. This is why I chose Hollywood Boulevard," Michele offers.
Hollywood really is a place for dreamers. And Gucci seems to be the rare few that's able to fit in seamlessly with the same brand of fervour and fantasy.
Look and feel: As a whole, this was undisputedly an Alessandro Michele for Gucci collection. It was a mishmash of textures, colours, fabrications and references but rooted in the spirit of glam Hollywood and Americanised fashion. Mixed in with the flamboyant excesses of silken tailoring (in the gender-bending vein of Harry Styles and Måneskin) and old Hollywood nods, were Gucci-fied activewear and tracksuits as well as cowboy hats and farm-boy motifs.
Thankfully, the menswear weren't focused on red carpet-ready fashion (as one would immediately assume being in Hollywood) but instead consisted of a heady mix of wearable pieces. You may not be gravitating towards a full Gucci Love Parade look but certainly—as with every other Michele for Gucci collection—easy to dissect and claim as your own.
Favourite looks: Of the many tailored looks in Gucci Love Parade, I find myself leaning towards the odd, broken pairing of a long-sleeved mesh top and low-cut waistcoat worn with Prince of Wales check suit (look 25). It's also in that exposed trouser zip that I find rather alluring and a contemporary detail that's more commonly associated with sportswear. But for something a bit more extreme (as if look 25 is normal, I know) look 61's salmon double-breasted blazer worn with a Hawaiian shirt, GG tights, sneakers and topped off with a cowboy hat is one I can also get behind.
Then there's look 106 that's a bit more classic Gucci. The proportion in the look is pretty stellar—a slightly cropped jumper that ends right above the waistband and matched with accessories that exuded the kind of artistic intellectualism that Gucci has been known for.
Favourite accessories: They're quite dainty and difficult to see in passing but the facial jewellery are rather beautiful (looks 25, 42 and 101)—just like facial piercings but thankfully (personally for me), temporary. What were also quite blink-and-you'd-miss were the jewellery pieces that resembled sex toys. The necklaces in looks 33 and 102 left little to the imagination.
What's really got me though, is the bi-coloured Jackie 1961 bag in look 53 that consists of a python and what appears to be crocodile pattern trimmed with brown leather. But for something a bit more understated, there were a slew of soft hobo-shaped bags in GG canvas, leather, or suede that were matched with Gucci webbing that deserve special mention too.