The subversive and playful campaign for Alessandro Michele’s Epilogue collection captures the beautiful chaos behind-the-scenes of a Gucci campaign, and stars the Italian house’s team of in-house designers
“I’m afraid of getting bored,” said Gucci’s Alessandro Michele in the wake of his Spring/Summer 2020 show. “I always have to try something new.” This sentiment is undoubtedly the driving force behind Michele’s collections for Gucci, which have continued to surprise and delight since he took over as creative director in 2015. Gucci’s latest project, revealed today, is no different: a tongue-in-cheek campaign photographed by American photographer Alec Soth, which purposefully shatters the glamorous illusion of a fashion shoot.
Shot in two starkly different locations in Rome – the historic late-Mannerist Palazzo Sacchetti and the distressed, graffiti-covered Campo Boario area – Soth’s images capture an orchestrated chaos of Gucci-adorned models, who are in-house designers for the brand, and animals alongside real-life production crew members, who manoeuvre props and camera equipment in plain clothes and masks. Best known for his compelling documentary photography of “loners and dreamers” in America’s midwest, New York Times art critic Hilarie M. Sheets once wrote that Soth made a “photographic career out of finding chemistry with strangers”. Such chemistry is evident in these playful images for Gucci, which capture the “messy beauty” behind a campaign for the Italian house.
Entitled The Epilogue, the campaign is a visual counterpart to Michele’s July collection of the same name, which marked the “final act” of a three-part collection beginning with Autumn/Winter 2020, An Unrepeatable Ritual, which inverted the fashion show, taking the audience backstage. This trilogy is, according to Gucci, an exercise in revealing “the magic of fashion by unveiling what lies behind the curtains of a beloved liturgy.” The July offering was revealed via a live-stream presentation as well as a short film by video artist Akinola Davies, plus a series of Mark Peckmezian-shot images, all of which also starred the talented team of creatives who make up Gucci’s design workforce.
“I brought together different things, which represent the messy beauty that I have always sought: the chaos of beauty,” said Michele in a statement. “Breaking the spell that forces my collaborators to passionately work on clothes they later have to abandon, I asked the team to wear them. And so we did a self-sufficient job, all inside our house, mixing things we had already done with things we were about to – overcoming the schemes of the time coherently with my idea of The Epilogue, the final resolution of a future that is largely present.”
Creative director: Alessandro Michele. Art director: Christopher Simmonds. Photographer: Alec Soth. Film directors: Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo. Locations: Palazzo Sacchetti and Campo Boario.
Music: “Mani Meme” Pas De Deux. Written by De Nota. Arranged & produced by Walter Verdin.