Gucci pulled back the curtain on backstage preparations for its Milan fashion week 2020 show, kicking off Italy’s luxury lineup of runways in a unique way.
Fashion devotees showed up expecting innovation — and an experience. After all, the show’s invite came via WhatsApp, was followed by the hashtag #GucciTheRitual and, later still, punctuated by a shot of designer Alessandro Michele in his car en route to the event.
As showgoers entered the Gucci Hub, they came upon a particular kind of backstage. Instead of the usual focus on the editorial and celebrity who’s-who in the room (initially, anyway), pre-show models sitting pretty and berobed in hair and makeup took the lion’s share of attention. Innovation — and immersion? Check.
Attendees stood by watching as mascara was made to run perfectly down smooth-as-stone cheeks. Hair was blown, combed and coaxed sleekly into place before being finished with sparkling bands and clips. The continually building energy and anticipation were palpable.
As the makeup artists and hairstylists wrapped up their contribution to the thoughtfully choreographed performance, models made their way to a circular stage and the lights went dark.
Finally, the curtain dropped to reveal the magic behind the assembly of the final looks. Robes fell open, dressers went to work and — as the audience looked on, voyeurs now set back from a most stylish set — Michele moved among the models.
Once each model’s look was completed, they took their place at the edge of the stage facing the audience, whose view was ever-changing as the carousel turned. Gucci’s signature vintage-inspired looks were, of course, the focus, with striking street style and luxe Halloween costuming coming to mind. Sailor looks, Victorian gowns, bondage accessories and pilgrim chic were all present.
There were murmurs of Fellini throughout the filmic production. Indeed, Gucci’s cinematic elements of exposure were as stunning as the fashion.
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