Roe Ethridge on Gucci's New Contemporary

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Ahead of Gucci's S/S16 collection, we present Roe Ethridge's exploration of the darkly beautiful world of Alessandro Michele for AnOther Magazine A/W15

Alessandro Michele’s appointment as creative director at Gucci earlier this year has taken the house in a bold new direction. Since January, he has presented four chapters in this new era with a strong creative vision, blurring the lines of gender by casting boys in womenswear collections and girls in menswear collections, wearing similar looks that could have been designed for either sex. He has charmed the industry with the gorgeous romance of his new look, presented on a cast of rebellious misfits. In this personal collaboration with AnOther Magazine, Michele reveals his favourite looks from his debut womenswear collection. Roe Ethridge tunes into the designer’s captivating world in this photographic study of the new contemporary.

"I used to get a lot of comments that my work was 'Lynch-ian,'  which really means Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks; mysterious dark forces at work in the setting of an ordinary American town," explains Ethridge. "I’m a child of the suburbs, but my family is from those little parts of America where wholesomeness and righteousness meet the creepy forces of nature and humanity. I think both the collection and the story share a kind of pan-decadanal, lost-in-time quality and I wanted the photographs to have a sense of place, and a dark interior. I would say that’s one of Jamie [Bochert]’s superpowers, and I wanted those elements to play off against the floral patterns in the collection."

"Andy Harman [the set designer] is a master of the literal, and I thought that his potting soil and shovel were a funny counterpoint to the lushness of the wall and floor coverings. The sequence of the story is almost completely chronological so, in a way, it has the arc of discovery and refinement that develops on a shoot day – but I also wanted to include some breaks and humor, things that could keep it from succumbing to the morose, or even becoming too convinced of it’s own beauty."

All clothing and accessories from the Gucci Autumn/Winter 2015 collection; Hair Esther Langham at Art + Commerce using Oribe; Make-up Sally Branka at LGA Management, Model Jamie Bochert at The Lions; Set design Andy Harman at Lalaland Artists; Manicure Geraldine Holford at The Wall Group using MAC cosmetics; Photographic assistant Will Englehardt; Digital tech Travis Drennen; Light design Chris Bisagni; Styling assistants Tara Greville, Sean Nguyen; Hair assistant David Colvin; Make-up assistant Akiko Awado; Set design assistants Andrey Chudorov, Jessie Hettig; Light design assistants John Trotter, Max Bernetz; Post production Two Three Two; Production Artist Commissions