Gucci Just Proved Bad Taste Is Back And Better Than ever

The World may be going to shit, but, hey, glitter acrylics are nothing to sneer at

Gucci Just Proved Bad Taste Is Back And Better Than ever

by Lucy Morris |

As Heidi Klum famously put it in Project Runway, 'in the fashion world one day you’re in...the next day you're out!’ And, she was right. Every six months designers debut new collections professing new trends, new it items and the latest muse. So, after seasons of serene Céline simplicity and Scandinavian minimalism, the territory has shifted. The wheels have turned, and the fashion set has moved on. It’s all about elevating the ‘ugly’ and reconsidering ‘bad taste’. How else do you think Christopher Kane got away with putting fur-lined Crocs on the catwalk or Vetements managed to show at Paris’ Couture Fashion Week a velour collaboration with Juicy. Yesterday, Gucci showed a collection that posed a significant question: is being a vulgar such a bad thing?


This query was posed by Alessandro Michele, the mastermind behind Gucci’s latest autumn winter 17 collection. With political persuasions playing a dominant role in both New York and London Fashion Week, we expected it to spill into Milan where Italy only three months earlier had voted on their own political reforms and EU referendum. Michele who, since assuming the creative lead role at the label, has been busy delivering intellectual, self-aware collections. His inspirations are always varied - from Renaissance paintings to his mate Jared Leto, to contemporary graffiti artists. So, it is little wonder that he took bad taste signifiers, mixed them with Academy Awards-ready glitz and 17th Century Chinoiserie to show the division where taste intersects with class, clothes and wealth. He shone a light on how the privileged scorn and then appropriate working-class symbols. The result was innately political without being scrawled with anti-trump slogans.

Vitaly, on the runway, vulgar ideas became high-end. Through references that will make his Asian customers happy and the Hollywood set excited to walk the red carpet, he used luxury fabrics and finishings to elevated bright, lurid colours and reevaluated magpie crystals. Dazzling second skin bodysuits became high art and crystal encrusted nails the definition of luxury. Alessandro took stonewashed denim cut-offs to a new place and made logo-print leggings an acceptable accompaniment to a tailored skirt suit. Wrestling belts and Royal Tenenbaum-twinged headbands, along with 80s exercise bodies worthy of Jane Fonda became runway-approved. Eyewear took on ungainly proportions or was licked with diamante and looked radically ‘80s, like they were nicked from Tron's costume department.

This wasn’t Gucci’s first show to include both men’s and women’s fashion, but it was the largest with nearly 100 looks. This in itself was a significant and potent shift for the house who only up until very recently kept its collections restrictedly gender-normative. For aw17 the label collaborated with rising artist Coco Capitán. The photographer scrawled in a new handwriting font over Alessandro’s work philosophical phrases like, ‘Common sense is not so common’ and, ‘Tomorrow is now yesterday.’ It was symbolic of how subtly political, yet overarchingly pretty show the actually was.

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**Follow Lucy on Instagram @lucyalicemorris


This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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