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Fashion

Alessandro Michele Toys With New Ideas At Gucci For Fall/Winter 2019

The subversive masks and dark undercurrent of the collection may have hogged the limelight at Gucci's Fall/Winter 2019 show. But scratch the surface and one can see the most radical idea that Alessandro Michele has churned out for this season is his reinvention of the feminine wardrobe. In a recent press preview in Bangkok, we took down notes as to how this modern Renaissance man is reinventing the wheel.
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The New Dress Silhouette
Michele is a proud fashion maximalist and is not one to shy away from mixing more than one references into his collection each season. That penchant for mashing things up sees him creating a totally new hybrid dress style which is best described as part tunic, part turtleneck sweater, part kaftan, part poncho and his answer to louche elegance for day. The wool frock comes with a leather-bound waistband which allows you to cinch the look to create a more body-conscious feminine silhouette. Our favourite way to wear this look is perhaps it was styled on the runway: with a felt visor hat, gloves and boots. The New 'O.L.' Ensemble
Read: Original ladylike. The peplum top and pencil skirt combination which is a popular feminine workwear ensemble in the mid-aughts seems to have its moment at the F/W ’19 show. But Michele elevates that prim aesthetic even further by incorporating fancy details like a detachable cape for a pink silk taffeta blouse and skirt getup. Meanwhile, a houndstooth jacket and skirt pairing include sophisticated details like velvet trimming on the pockets. The jacket comes with a flared bottom for a more versatile fit and a waistline that emphasises the peplum silhouette when it is cinched with a belt. The New Tailoring
With the show invite featuring a mask of the androgynous Greek deity Hemaphroditus, it’s clear that it’s as much a message about gender norms as it is a new proposition for daily dressing. Jackets are boxy and oversized while all pants possess a similar borrowed-from-the-boys cut, even when they’re cuffed at the ankles. The three-piece suits are the best examples of Michele’s fusion of feminine and masculine elements into one sharp outfit: Jackets are cinched slightly at the waist, paired with dapper waistcoats and wide culottes (these have elastic waistbands for a comfier fit). The New Three-Piece Suit
What looks like a three-piece suit is actually made up just an oversized blazer worn over a matching jumpsuit. The latter is made up of a shirt collar, front pockets and cuffed ankles and gives the illusion of wearing pants, vest and a shirt separately. This fuss-free solution to an otherwise multi-layered look makes for a practical solution for the modern woman on the go. The New Evening Dresses
Yes, Gucci is known for some of the most extravagant gowns. But the idea that eveningwear has to be relegated to only long flowy dress territory is an outdated one. Instead, Michele unveils a series of flirty and youthful mini dresses that are show-stopping in their own right thanks to the use of luxurious fabrics like silk, lace and men’s tailoring fabric. The intricate embroidery and embellishments add to the demi-couture quality of the dresses. Take for instance a seafoam green mini dress that is finished using a technique called Aari. This artisanal workmanship is a painstaking job and involves using a long sharp-edged needle with sequins for the body and sleeves, and glass beads and crystal stones for the cuffs. A beaded fringe dress, on the other hand, is equally challenging to make: Each bead needs to be positioned by hand in order to create a rhombus design and the fringes have to be arranged in an asymmetric pattern for a degrade effect.