When Gucci designer Alessandro Michele likes something, he really leans into it – mixing prints. Pussy bows and trompe l'oeil ribbons with Disney. Yes, really. Since Michele took over as creative director in 2015, he's put his love of all things Disney on display. There was the Donald Duck capsule collection for spring 2017, an appearance by Snow White eating a poison apple during the spring 2018 line, and a pattern made up of the "Three Little Pigs" for cruise 2019. Michele's references aren't always immediately obvious like, say, Coach's adaptation of Minnie Mouse ears for handbags or Givenchy's use of Bambi, but they are genuine — in 2017, he told i-D he grew up watching Donald Duck cartoons.
On Monday, Michele took that appreciation one step further. In celebration of Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday this November, handbags shaped like the icon's head (including those ears, of course) were sent down the spring 2019 runway. For any other show, their appearance might have felt surprising. But at Gucci, it was just one of many moments — like Jane Birkin performing live, a cockatoo sitting eerily still perched on a model's shoulder, bedazzled jock straps, among many others.
Oh, and then there were the clothes. Paris' Le Palace Theatre in Montmartre set the stage for a collection where there were lots of feathers and sequins, plus an homage to Dolly Parton in the form of a denim jacket you'd get spray painted at the boardwalk. “I am reconnecting culture and popular culture,” Michele told British Vogue of the offering. And all of it — even those Mickey Mouse handbags — makes complete sense.