Photos by Indigital Images
Alessandro Michele has always challenged conventional ideas of beauty. He casts models that look more like misfits; they appear on the runway gangly and un-made-up, with awkward hairstyles and angry expressions. Gucci Fall 2018 was an exception only in that some had extreme body modifications—an extra eye or a spare head.
The show was set in an operating theater, which the brand stated “reflects the work of a designer—the act of cutting, splicing and reconstructing materials and fabrics to create a new personality and identity with them.” Recasting unlikely references is Michele’s specialty. His inspirations are broad, ranging from the ancient to science fiction, the glamorous to the grotesque. His collections could struggle to hang together, except that each is sprinkled with the excess sparkle of a fairy tale, macabre and transcendent. Instead of performing surgery on specific bodies or creating from cut cloth, Michele more so operates on the social fabric of Western Civilization, our cultural stories, identities and memories. It’s peak postmodernism, so it’s no surprise that the designer referenced Michel Foucault’s identity theories in his show notes.