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We Kick-Off Milan Fashion Week on a High at Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2020 Collection

In true Michele fashion, a collection that ran the gamut from 18th century Victorian dresses with a touch of Gothic inspiration, school-girl inspired pinafore dresses and suits from the '70s.

Going into Milan fashion week after a rather mediocre run at New York – we skipped London this season – our bets were on the second half of the fashion month extravaganza to keep our fashion fantasies alive. First in the line-up was Gucci. If there was anyone we could pin our hopes on to shake things up at fashion week, it was Alessandro Michele. Since his debut at the Italian maison, we can’t think of one showing that hasn’t left us picking up our jaws from the ground.

You bet the Fall/Winter 2020 spectacle had the same effect on us. This season, the designer basically reinvented the fashion show, presenting the collection in reverse, taking guests from the backstage to the front row. We’d even go so far as to say that this might have been our favourite showing thus far. Well, we do catch ourselves thinking the same after every other Gucci show but let us take you through the extraordinary Fall/Winter 2020 presentation that has only made us fall ever so deeply in love with Michele and his world at Gucci.

#1: The show invite was a voice note followed by a selfie

It’s been a couple of seasons now that the concerns of the environment has weighed heavily on the minds of fashion insiders. You already know the industry has a bad rep for wastage. Physical show invites, why are they still a thing in the digital age? This season, the Gucci show invite came in the form of a WhatsApp voice note from the man himself. Then followed an Eva Chen-esque backseat selfie – painted fingernails included. You mean we’re on texting basis with Michele now? Shut the front door!

#2: We entered the show through the typically hidden backstage hair and makeup area

How much more personal could it really get than voice note and a selfie from Michele you ask? Apparently, a whole lot more. The show’s entrance first took guests to the hair and makeup room  where models clad in white robes were in the midst of getting their faces on for the impending show. It was an all-access backstage pass, if you will. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, we gathered Michele was in the mood for intimacy and transparency this season. He was, after all, seen mingling with guests at the backstage area.

#3: The show set was a transparent, revolving platform

Inside the actual show space, a circular edifice concealed beneath a pink curtain stood in the centre of the room with seats lined along its perimeter. To signal the start of the presentation, the veil of pink dropped to the ground in a rather dramatic fashion to reveal a transparent, revolving platform. Inside it, a replica of a backstage setup – show assistants included. Dressed in grey uniforms, the stylists made the final adjustments on the models before they paraded to the front of the glass observatory. The show, then, formally commenced as the revolving platform made its round for a 360-degree view of the season’s clothing.

#4: In the clothing department, Michele took us far back to the 18th century

Fashion’s past is only as relevant as Michele makes it and this season, he looked back at the ’60s, the ’70s and even took it far back to the 18th century. Michele’s lineup of prairie gowns cinched in with leather harnesses was a rendition of Victorian goth we could hardly peel our eyes off of. The layers of fabric, the lace trimming, the gloves that it was worn with – it was all a sight to take in. Elsewhere in the collection, the designer had seemingly taken notes from a school girl’s outfit and rendered the references into pinafore dresses and skirt-suit combinations we would wear way past graduation. Michele did what Michele does best, pull his references from across decades and create a line-up so cohesive that it might as well have had Gucci imprinted all over it.

#5: The collection, in the words of the designer himself

“I decided to unveil what lies behind the curtains. May the miracle of skilful hands and holding breath come out of the shadows,” read the handwritten show notes. In an interview with Vogue.com, Michele further offered, “We all belong to the same circus and I really want to go on repeating this ritual.” If fashion were a religion and the runways, a ritual, Michele would be our high priest.

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