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On the occasion of the presentation of the new “Aria” collection, Gucci gave us an official taste of what we can define as a “hacking” experience with Balenciaga. It was a completely unexpected union and so unthinkable that no one could believe it, yet it happened. However, we cannot help but consider some factors that better explain the context and motivation of this choice.
The first is that this year the Florentine Maison is celebrating its centenary. This glorious event will accompany us in the coming months with as many as one hundred and fifty related initiatives. On the other hand, the second falls on the shared belonging of the two brands to the Kering group, an added value that is probably more linked to the entrepreneurial sphere. Finally, the third, the one that in all probability proves to be the most significant: Alessandro Michele and Demna Gvasalia, they want to rewrite the canons of beauty and glamor in the name of individuality and freedom of expression.
Michele himself, in his show notes, defined the collection as «a profound and ecstatic dive into all that we miss most today». However, to better understand the individual themes of the collection, a few points must be analyzed.
1. The union of Gucci and Balenciaga. For the 100th anniversary of the brand, Alessandro Michele has “hacked” the aesthetics of Demna Gvasalia. A series of looks and accessories that blend Balenciaga’s silhouettes with classic Gucci fabrics. The most notable items are the Jackie bag by Gucci, and the Hourglass bag by Balenciaga covered with a co-branded of Balenciaga’s All-Over Logo Pattern. The same pattern is also replicated on various dresses. The most notable of which is a suit entirely covered in sequins. Demna’s influence also extended to the accessories and boots featured in many of the looks.


2. Savoy. The word “Savoy” is perhaps the protagonist of the graphics of the collection. Its origin recalls the Savoy Hotel. It was the luxury hotel in London from the nineteenth century onwards, frequented by Oscar Wilde, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, and Winston Churchill. At the Savoy, Guccio Gucci worked during his London period, discovering the world of luxury luggage. Later he developed the idea of returning to his homeland and opening a suitcase shop that would later become the Gucci we know. In the 1920s, the hotel-inspired the name of the Savoy Ballroom in New York, an iconic venue that was called “the beating heart of Harlem“. It was one of the points of reference for the evolution of swing and jazz culture in America.
3. Horse racing inspiration. Jockey helmets, leather harnesses, whips, and Horsebit details recall the world of horse racing. An apparent reference to the origins of the brand, born initially as luggage and saddlery. This visual appeal, so deeply linked to the history of the brand, is also underlined by the presence of real horses in the final scenes of the fashion film. But it is not the only reference to the brand’s past. The famous Flora print dating back to the 1960s also returns and covers an entire female suit, including socks and shoes.
4. Modern songs and party dress. It is perhaps the first time that the brand has used such a modern soundtrack for a show. The reason was to evoke the idea of a party in the double meaning of ceremony and celebration, in honor of the brand’s birthday. The brand used a series of trap and hip-hop songs that mentioned Gucci in their lyrics as the soundtrack of the fashion film. The first look appeared on the notes of Gucci Gang by Lil Pump, Gucci Flip-Flops by Bhad Babie, Green Gucci Suit by Rick Ross and Future, Gucci On My Bag by Mier. But also Gucci Coochie by Die Antwoord and Waiting For The Stars by Vitalic, feat. David Shaw and The Beat.
5. The heart-shaped bags. We already knew that bags would be among the protagonists of the collection. Without a doubt, the most notable was the one in the shape of an anatomical heart and covered with sequins.
Alessandro Michele starts from here, where it all began, even before the act of birth took place. He, therefore, starts from a mysterious and fascinating place, not a hotel but a club, the Savoy Club. Inside a tunnel illuminated by neon lights and flashes worthy of a red carpet, there is a parade of the classic ones they have not seen for a while.
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