Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele has been awarded the 2015 International Designer Award at the British Fashion Awards ceremony today, on November 23rd.
It’s an acknowledgment of the remarkable brand – reformation that Michele has conducted since starting there in January this year.The designer had been quietly working at Gucci since 2002, when then creative director Tom Ford recruited him – like Michele now, Ford had given the brand a whole new face in the 1990s.
So what was it that did so drastically change the Italian fashion house when Alessandro Michele appeared on the public scene? Well, Ford’s successor and his predecessor Frida Giannini made the brand’s numbers flourish but from a creative standpoint, its fashion decline. She was interested in dressing normal people rather than stars, which unfortunately led to her dressing whom had no idea about fashion, but all the more about the display of money.
Therefore, it was Alessandro Michele’s task to place Gucci in the limelight of real fashion world again, to make it relevant again in the mind of opinion leaders and fashion people. And that’s what he’s accomplished, really. In just 3 seasons (he already did the Gucci SS15 menswear, even though his FW15 women’s collection was touted as his first official collection) the man brought back a clear – cut identity as that which understood the Ford years:
“Alessandro Michele is a phenomenon at Gucci,” said Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council. “His exciting, eclectic aesthetic has made an overnight impact on global fashion trends. It is not just that he has made the brand covetable and the product so desirable. He has also reinvigorated the retail experience, bringing back playfulness and magic to the flagship store.”
His designs gleam with joie de vivre – we see lamé pleated dresses and skirts, brocade fabrics, shoes and jewelry that are overloaded with baroque elements, 50s wallpaper inspired glitter suits and color combinations that I am only used to seeing Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine in. All this is a fresh spring breeze after a grey and dreary winter of careful coolness, in which nobody dared anything, but everybody pretended to. We are moving in the right direction!
PS: Check out the galleries (FW15 and SS16) to see what I mean!