Gucci Fall/Winter 2018 – Have They Gone Too Far This Time?

Cyborgs Have Everything
What do you say when the most savvy social media brand actually loses its head? 

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

What do you say when the most interesting items carried down a fashion runway are not the bags? Such is the case with the Gucci Fall/Winter 2018 show. As much as we focus upon handbags, top designer Alessandro Michele both drew us in and creeped us out as models carried replicas of their heads (which, it seems, were not, for better or worse, doubling as purses), snakes and dragons.

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Inspired by  “Cyborg Manifesto,” a 1984 essay by D.J. Harraway which rejected the concept of rigid boundaries, particularly those separating human from animal and human from machine, hence the “Cyborg” which titled the show. Michele’s creations did the same.  Michele said (as quoted in vogue.com:  

We are the Dr. Frankenstein of our lives. There’s a clinical clarity about what I am doing. I was thinking of a space that represents the creative act. I wanted to represent the lab I have in my head. It’s physical work, like a surgeon’s. . . . We exist to reproduce ourselves, but we have moved on. We are in a post-human era, for sure; it is under way.

In a sense, Gucci created a Frankenstein collection – or some from column A and some from column B – mixing and matching styles, looks and cultures, with a somewhat dystopian scene featuring all-gender models walking in a trance-like state, some carrying heads, some with head coverings like babushka scarves, some covering faces with knitted half-balaclavas and others with burka-like lace.  Part seen, part unseen.

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Some looks just defy description.

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

There were feather-adorned gowns, alongside items with baseball team insignia, tweeds, florals, lace, transparency, velvet, business suits (with skirts and slacks), power, Alexa Carrington shoulders (that’s from “Dynasty” for the youngsters), futuristic sunglasses, sparkles . . . all almost too much to mention. Perhaps this was Michele’s way of saying “anything goes” – for clothing and for who you are or want to be.

The most controversial seems to be the turbans . . . resting atop white faces rather than any of color.  For this, criticism of cultural appropriation has been the strongest.

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Remarkably, with this jarring presentation, the handbags were . . . unremarkable.  We mean that in a lovely way.  They are classic, pretty and useable. Classicists will find the Gucci logo and the striped webbing, as well as ladylike purses.

We spied a bucket hobo with an extremely long strap,

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

crocodile purses,

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

suede tote with leather and chain handle (also seen in leather),

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

classic leather cross bodies with detailing,

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

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crossbody half-circles with various fabrications and adornments,

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

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a basketball-like bag,

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

and a cross-body basket.  

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

Photo courtesy: vogue.com

So…did Gucci go a little too far this time? Is the new collection a cry for attention, or a work of avant-garde, forward-thinking art? Were there any looks you especially liked (or hated)? Tell us what you think about the presentation—and don’t forget to mention the bags!

Read related articles below:

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Gucci Handbag Showdown: Dionysus vs. Marmont
Gucci Spring 2018 Bag Teaser

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3 Responses to “Gucci Fall/Winter 2018 – Have They Gone Too Far This Time?”

  • OMG! How UGLY and repulsive! The only thing shown in these pics that looks wearable in ANY iteration is the CHANEL-inspired floral motif jacket. Says something about this Gucci collection…..

  • “Any publicity is good publicity.” It’s tiresome how often designers will go for shock value just to get people buzzing about their collection. The problem with this is that the viewers are distracted by the macabre objects instead of focusing on the clothing. It suggests, to me, a certain insecurity on the designer’s part… Was he/she unable to find a way to creatively convey their message through the clothes, instead of relying on props? I can’t help but wonder if Alessandro Michele was trying (unsuccessfully) to emulate the creative genius that was Alexander McQueen, who was no stranger to the macabre, yet managed to make it all work.

  • These looks mostly remind me of going into a thrift store or the maniqunans dressed up like this at the thrift store I liked maybe two of the bags and maybe two outfits thumbs down from me