It’s really easy to be distracted with Gucci. For one, there are a lot of things going on in a collection—resurgences of archival prints, stacks of jewellery, heads (the human and Mickey Mouse kinds), and many other oddities we’ve yet to see. Gucci is also one of the luxury fashion houses that has become part of the hype machine, supplementing brogues with distressed sneakers and making vintage-inspired logo T-shirts cool again.
Yet at the heart of it all, Gucci still counts tailoring as one of the most integral parts of its menswear collection.
While Alessandro Michele has successfully created an instantly recognisable style language for Gucci, it’s his debut collection for the fashion house in 2015, with a softer and almost femme approach to tailoring, that reinvigorated Gucci. Michele’s brand of ‘70s-esque silhouette—a somewhat shrunken blazer paired with flared trousers—has been reinterpreted in various manners of trimmings, fabrications and prints. It could be that Gucci has shifted slightly since then, but as the spring/summer 2019 collection showed, there’s a greater emphasis in tailoring now.
The spring/summer 2019 runway show was set within the grand Théâtre Le Palace, a historic venue in Paris. Le Palace is more famously known for bringing together a mixed bag of individuals from the realm of fashion, music and underground subcultures when it was a nightclub. Gucci’s spring/summer 2019 collection took reference from the scene, and as a homage to Le Palace, a new men’s tailoring silhouette has been created, simply called ‘the Palace’.
The Palace is distinguished by its rather fitted and long jacket. Where a traditional suit jacket typically ends at the same level as your knuckles, the Palace’s measures 76cm long and sits somewhere below the crotch. This means that the Palace looks its best when worn unbuttoned to avoid making one look disproportionately shorter. The jacket is constructed with full canvassing and is topped off with two patch or flap pockets at the front. And just like the usual Gucci suit offerings, the Palace’s jacket is available in single as well as double-breasted styles. While it’s designed to be paired with formal flared pants (the hem circumference is 68cm wide), a more traditional option is available for an easier adoption of the look.
As we all know by now, there’s nothing truly traditional with Michele’s Gucci. The Palace follows in that vein of ostentatious luxury and is remixed in a variety of fabrications, including velvet, Prince of Wales and the iconic canvas GG monogram. The latter was introduced to formal tailoring during the cruise 2019 collection and is apparent this season on look 65, which employs the use of the monogram in contrasting shades.
Upping the ante this season is a whole new range of made-for-layering pieces. The coats feature an unlined construction and, reminiscent of Michele’s first collection for Gucci, are designed with a wrinkled and folded effect for a more relaxed juxtaposition when worn over the Palace. Silk dressing gowns are punctuated with archive prints—the Horsebit chain, and the Stirrups and Web motifs—for an even contemporary twist to tailoring.
The suit is hardly dead. But the way that we’ve been wearing it for the past few decades definitely is. If there were a Gucci-led trope that you should be heeding this season, this would be it.
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