Jeanette Ejlersen was in New York to meet Gucci’s new creative director Alessandro Michele and to review his first Resort collection.
Gucci Cruise 2015/16, New York, June 4. Everyone I meet from Gucci says the same things of the brand’s new creative director Alessandro Michele: He is so nice – emphasis on the so nice. A wonderful guy, a real sweetheart, so humble, very down to earth. And so genuine.
And the man is. Even a little self-deprecating as he’s swamped by 200 international press after one of the most talked about Cruise debuts. Everyone wants a piece of him, to shake his hand (myself included), to congratulate him and to tell him how marvelous his first Cruise collection for Gucci is.
And it is. It is more than marvelous. It is colourful (who says Cruise has to be navy and white? Or even Cruise-like?), eccentric in a Pretty in Pink kind of way (cue pairing a tiger camisole with a long, ruffled, prom-like skirt that could have been cobbled together by a 16-year-old). It is also vintage Gucci meets The Royal Tenenbaums (Gwyneth Paltrow’s character an obvious inspiration) meets granny chic and geeksville with a good dose of awkwardness.
If Michele for Gucci Fall/Winter ’15 collection offered a first peak into his psyche, what turns him on and how he sees the brand moving forward as opposed to his predecessor Frida Giannini (who is getting married as we speak), Cruise leaves no doubt that his mood board (or Pinterest) is plastered with youth culture, the young generation, not sexy glamazons.
Like Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, he is in love with youth culture, albeit leaning more East Coast than West. And it’s a reference he keeps bringing up, alongside the way they dress in “a free spirited way”. Freedom is another favourite word of his (that’s the other reason why Cruise is shown in New York).
“I like the idea of what the young people are doing, taking bits and pieces of fashion here and there, and everywhere to create a look that’s distinctly theirs,” says Michele. “They dress up because it’s fun, and have fun dressing up.”
His version of dressing up is not what we have been bombarded with on social media or street style. His take is cooler, slightly androgynous, unpretentious, not showy, none of that ‘I am making a fashion statement’. In short: fashion with an indie spirit.
Standing ovation please. See all our favourite looks from the runway here