Designer Alessandro Michele continues to do the same damn thing at Gucci, although it’s enjoyable enough. This season, Gucci’s first combined men’s and women’s show brought another overwhelmingly varied collection—dubbed “The Alchemist’s Garden” in show notes—made up of pleasantly clashing layers of vintage-inspired looks and eccentric accessories.
Similar to Gucci’s spring ‘17 show, there are ‘70s silhouettes and cheongsam references, dramatic silks and oil-paper umbrellas, all wafting through a dramatic plexiglass runway. For the second time in a row, Michele tapped Florence Welch (and A.S.A.P. Rocky) to read texts by William Blake, this time in an audio recording sent out as an invite. Coco Capitán, a 24-year-old artist/photographer, collaborated with Michele on some looks in the collection, lending her signature scrawl to the brand’s logo tees (“Common sense is not that common,” and “I want to go back to believing in a story”); she also graffiti’d the area outside the show. Hari Nef, transgender model and fashion’s latest it-girl, Snapchatted the gender-neutral collection for Vogue.
It was definitely not boring, and there were some beautiful pieces; taken more broadly, the effect of all that shimmer and color encased in plexiglass was compelling. But when there’s this much going on, and that sense of clutter is injected into the brand’s DNA, it’s hard to know where to look, or what’s worth remembering.