Female X Gucci
Vintage is still very much in, especially going by Gucci’s Fall Winter 2019 campaign. The brainchild of creative director Alessandro Michele, veteran fashion photographer Glen Luchford and art director Christopher Simmonds, the nostalgia-soaked campaign revives the glamorous frenzy of fashion – think backstage fittings, fashion shoots and runway shows – from the ’50s through to the ’80s. (It even refers to ready-to-wear by its more retro and now rarely used label “pret-a-porter”.) And with Michele’s fondness for history, the collection itself is – in many ways – equally a loving nod to the past.
Case in point: the Italian luxury giant’s star accessories for the season. The Sylvie 1969, for example, is a slim and playful top handle that recalls what female Mods would carry in the ’60s. Meanwhile a new shoulder bag – so new that it doesn’t have an official name at press time – would fit right into Annie Hall (1977). And spot on the trend for ’80s sneakers: say hi to the dad-chic Ultrapace trainer.
Read on for a closer, by-the-decades look at these three styles-to-know – available now in all Gucci boutiques – because, you know, vintage will always remain fashion gold.
In Spring Summer 2016, Gucci brought back the Sylvie, an elegant structured shoulder bag from its ’60s archives, distinguished by an unexpectedly bold chain and buckle closure detail. (PS. It remains a bestseller.) This season, it introduces its smaller, more playful cousin: the Sylvie 1969.
A slim top handle available in small and mini sizes, it’s named after the year the original Sylvie was created – also the year when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. It might explain its youthful, space age chic finishes: glossy patent leather or Plexiglas in black, cream or upbeat pop colours like emerald green and bubblegum pink. Gone is the webbing detail signature to the OG Sylvie while the chain hardware (both the buckle and the accompanying chain shoulder strap) has been refined, resulting in a more lighthearted, cocktail party-perfect alternative.
Nope, this doesn’t have a name yet, but our bets is that this structured flap shoulder bag will be on the tongues (and shoulders) of the street style crowd as much as it will be with fashion-forward corporate types. It all boils down to its sleek yet roomy, rectangular size, and discreet ’70s chic: it’s inspired by an archival design from the era and features a bold yet elegant double “G” ring-shaped hardware engraved with a delicate twisted texture.
To complete the look, it comes in a choice of two finishes popular in the ’70s: grained leather and suede, with colours ranging from blood red to muted grey. And for an extra dose of fun and femininity, there are variations that come with a printed silk scarf to be wrapped around its strap.
How many hit variations of the dad sneaker can Alessandro Michele and team come up with? Many, many more, going by the introduction of the Ultrapace. While not inspired by an archival style, it serves up major ’80s vibes with its slight bulk, raised top line and lightly distressed effect.
What makes it distinctly reminiscent of the decade – and collector-worthy – however is its madcap patchwork aesthetic. Every style features a tricolour rubber outsole, terry cloth lining and a body made up of a wild mix of materials in contrasting colours and patterns: think metallic silver leather with pink and brown mesh and a dash of grey suede and neon orange piping all on one pair of shoes (and that’s just one version).
Further underscoring Michele’s knack for mashing up seemingly unconnected elements effortlessly, every style is covered in a variety of logos – from a vintage-style Gucci label on the tongue, to the brand’s name embroidered onto the side, to even the brand’s interlocking “G” motif embossed onto rubber panels. The best part? As OTT and maximalist as it might sound, the Ultrapace comes across as more fun and less monstrous than some of the most recognised designer dad sneakers out there. Ladies, line up now.