Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Gucci Releases Alessandro Michele’s Lockdown Diaries – And Announces A Major Change To Its Show Schedule

Like most of the fashion industry, Alessandro Michele has been using the lockdown period to reflect on the system while self-isolating at his home in Rome – reaching some major decisions about the future of Gucci in the process. The brand will now show just twice a year, presenting seasonless collections.

On 23 May, the Italian house released several entries from Michele’s personal diaries over the last few months – which hint at a radical shift in the way the creative director will approach the “fashion circus” he honoured in his spectacular autumn/winter 2020 collection. Chief among his preoccupations? Drastically increasing the sustainability credentials of the house – with the brand due to share more details of his plans during a virtual media conference on 25 May.

“Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in,” Michele writes in an entry titled “We Turned Out To Be So Small” from 29 March. “We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it. We incited Prometheus, and buried Pan. So much haughtiness made us lose our sisterhood with the butterflies, the flowers, the trees and the roots. So much outrageous greed made us lose the harmony and the care, the connection and the belonging. We ravaged the sanctity of life, neglectful of our being a species. At the end of the day, we were out of breath.”

As beautifully poetic as his language is, Michele’s more recent entries make clear that he has concrete solutions in mind for repairing the “devastation” caused by the industry in the past. (As he warns in a note from 7 April, “Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing.”) In a series of posts from the beginning of May, he announces his decision to “build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être”.

In practical terms, that means overthrowing the traditional fashion schedule of “cruise, pre-fall, spring/summer, autumn/winter” collections: “I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story.” It will be, he promises, a different “creative universe” for Gucci – and, no doubt, for fashion as a whole.

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