We examine the abundant pleasure to be taken from one of Alessandro Michele's most ornate offerings
Embroidered Floral Jacquard Dress, Gucci
Sequin flame embroidery, necklace appliqué, hand-embroidered crystal ladybug and lightning bolts
Do you ever feel like a Medici heiress crossed with a member of Hell’s Angels, with a deep entomological curiosity and a taste for the glistening rhinestones of the double-aughts? If the answer is yes, then rest assured: Gucci’s got you. Thanks to Alessandro Michele, the storied Italian casa, which has experienced as many reinventions as Madonna, has finally found its calling card as the ultimate sweetie shop for sartorial magpies – Michele himself is like a po-mo angel of the Renaissance, with his luscious Botticelli curls, striped white socks and hands weighted by stacks of ornate jewels. His is a world where Elizabethan ruffles grace embroidered leather jackets; where Japanese souvenir jackets mate with striped athletic baseball styles; and where flora and fauna converge on sentimental country tweeds and distinctly 70s monograms, inevitably trimmed with ribbons and glimmering disco sparkle. It’s enough to make the Germanic minimalists scurry away into a lifetime of hiding and resurrect Marie Antoinette.
So why exactly is Gucci so hot right now? Well, the answer lies in the unbridled joy of wearing one of these eclectically conceived designs, which are symptomatic of age-old Milanese peacockery. Not only do they feel fabulous and happy to wear, but they are the antithesis of the trackies-and-pool-slider look that has been clawing its way into our wardrobes. If in doubt, ask a child: dressed in Gucci, you become a real-life princess – and a much cooler version of those lame Disney damsels. What’s more, this is not something that you need – who on earth needs a floral jacquard dress with van Dyck ruffles, glass pearls and rhinestone insects? This is neither a dress that will help you seem vaguely normal or sane to a potential employer, date or unfamiliar social group. Nor is it a dress that will take you from early-morning coffee to cocktails at sunset, to borrow from the painful jargon of e-commerce. It is a dress that is for you and you only – a dress that is special and grand and unlike any other. It’s a dress that will make you feel like a pre-Raphaelite muse; as badass as Anne Boleyn; the life and soul of the party wherever you go, whether that’s Pret-a-Manger or Buckingham Palace. And, when you’re not wearing it, you can hang it on a wall as a reminder of just how fabulous you really are – and that is simply priceless.