Fashion’s grand wizard, Alessandro Michele, whipped up another fascinating collection for Gucci this season. In Gucci’s garden there grew red poppies on silk-cropped pants, pink peonies on a Chinese red dress, roses on a men’s unitard, and wildflowers that adorned the hem of an evening gown. Roaming the grounds were a cast of creatures for Gucci’s Animalium, which included snakes drawn artistically onto the back of a men’s white leather shearling, bats (Chiroptera, the scientific name for the creatures was spelled out on more than one look), foxes, salamanders, and all manner of insects.
Michele’s fascination with the garden has turned into some iconic imagery for Gucci, which was once known predominately for its horse bit. The Italian designer has more than once turned to Britain for inspiration—the brand has a three-year partnership with Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and shot their Cruise 2017 campaign in its gardens. This season there were references to Sissinghurst Castle on Biddenden Road (both spelled out on the back of a couple of men’s looks), which is renowned for its gardens cultivated by the English poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson in the 1930s. Prior to becoming famous for its gardens, the castle had been a Saxon pig farm, a prison during the Seven Years War, and a poor house.
Naturally, buried in with the botanical references this season were a few political ones. A Gucci tank with ‘80s branding worn over a glittery cosplay onesie had the phrase, “Common sense is not that common” inscribed on the front. And there were Japanese umbrellas with the scribbled message, “Tomorrow is now yesterday.” In other words, the future is often tangled up in the past. History, of course, repeats itself in both politics and fashion. But hope can grow in even the darkest places. At least in the land of Gucci, the future looks brilliant. We pledge allegiance!