Star power

Gucci’s Alessandro Michele throws a breathtaking party for the cosmos
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 17 May 2022

Star-spangled mesh skirts boasting constellations of blue jewels, capes consisting of never-ending rhinestones, velvet gowns with sharp, pleated ruff-sleeves and distressed denim that’s succumbed to a vicious (but aesthetically pleasing) plague of studs and bedazzling: Gucci’s latest outing – titled Cosmogonie – couldn’t be more Alessandro Michele if it tried.

The house’s latest jaunt took inspiration from the world of the written word, looking to Hannah Arendt’s seminal essay on German philosopher Walter Benjamin as its source material. The two had originally met as Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the 1930s, striking up an intense and everlasting bond over their shared love of literature that would last long after both of their deaths. It was Benjamin himself who coined the title Thinking In Constellations, employing his own theories and methodologies in the practice of humanities, and had it not been for his valiant and painstaking research, half of which was actually seized by the Gestapo, this collection may never have come to be.

Glittery contrasts made up this cosmic spectacle, nay costume party, in the stars, from imposing Yeti-like furs to optically-printed gowns that hugged the body just as much as the floor. PVC gloves shattered the Edwardian oeuvre in glossy, skin-tight lacquer, or became tactile in silky greens. There were studded gladiator sandals with crushed velvet soles that looked as if they’d been fashioned for a ruler of the cosmos (or Florence Welch), and headgear that clung to the skull with beige monograms, or flounced around the head like dark, drooping halos.

Lest we also forget the black and white catsuits brimming with 80s swagger, or the glitzy capes that shimmered with the glow of a thousand disco balls rotating at full speed. Shapes were larger than life, prints zanier than ever. Lace was wavy and stoles were furry. Michele, of course, left no base uncovered, nor feather uncoiffed, because a party in the stars requires just as much tenacious style as those on earth, duh.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Gucci