As the main event on the Milan Fashion Week schedule, if not the most highly anticipated show of all Fashion Month, Gucci quite literally had attendees counting down until its fall 2018 show (which is hilarious, given the known fact that fashion shows couldn't start on time if they tried, but made for great Instagram content). The invite came in the form of an orange timer, inside a Ziploc bag, with an old school, retro timer counting down to the spectacle. On the front of the timer, a sticker read: “Parental Advisory, Explicit Content.”
Staged in the brand's Milan hub, a former aircraft factory made into their new headquarters, the show space was transformed into a surgeon's operating room — replete with PVC flooring, stark white LED lamps, and hospital waiting room chairs surrounding an eerie operating table. Let's just say any and all nosocomephobes and tomophobes were not invited. "The concept reflects the work of a designer – the act of cutting, splicing and reconstructing materials and fabrics to create a new personality and identity with them," the brand shared on Instagram.
As with every Gucci event, designer Alessandro Michele left showgoers mesmerized. Seated in the front row of the hospital waiting room chairs were Nick Cave, Susie Bick, and their son Earl Cave, joined by The End of the F***ing World stars Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther, Donatella Versace, Chloë Sevigny, Rowan Blanchard, Edward Enninful, and Anna Wintour. After sitting alongside Her Majesty The Queen at Richard Quinn's fall 2018 show (and no, we're not talking about Cardi B), it's safe to say the Vogue editrix is having quite an unusual week.
An essay written by Donna Haraway in 1984, entitled "A Cyborg Manifesto," served as the main source of inspiration — and was enough for a whopping 90-look lineup. If you're unsure of where to start, try here: In the essay, Haraway describes a cyborg as a distinction between "human" and "animal" and "human" and "machine"; the manifesto also criticizes traditional perceptions of feminism. In other words: You didn't expect Michele to send feminist tees down the runway, did you?
Alas, the show was political in its own way, and in true Michele form, he kept it weird: Some models emerged carrying frighteningly realistic replicas of their own heads, while others cradled reptiles, such as a snake or a chameleon, and even carried a baby dragon — all of which, inspired by the "legend of the baby dragon in the jar," the true story of an author who staged the discovery of a baby dragon in his garage in Oxfordshire, England. It's like, if Harry Potter took mushrooms, became an influencer, walked a Gucci show, and made it back to Hogwarts — which has now relocated to Times Square — just in time for his Defense of The Dark Arts class.
To no one's chagrin, Michele's maximalism shows no sign of dialing down — and, from Jupiter to Mars, Saturn and back, we are here for it. Based on the rapturous applause from celebrities and editors alike, the creative director will continue to reign supreme for yet another season.