Gucci’s fall/winter 2019 campaign has arrived. And creative director Alessandro Michele wants us to focus on the clothes. The campaign pays homage to the evolution of prêt-à-porter through four decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, a period when ready-to-wear was at its creative peak before the rise of the internet and fast fashion.
“The fabula of fashion, however, begins at the drawing table, then moves to the workshops, during fittings, trials and fault finding,” Gucci stated in a press release about the campaign. “It is a tale of manual and material skills, the result of a specific know-how that today we tend to discount, to take for granted.”
Art directed by Christopher Simmonds and shot by Glen Luchford, a frequent collaborator of Michele’s, the campaign features the same decadent, campy imagery that the fashion house is known for under Michele’s direction. But the photos also tell a cohesive story about the sheer amount of labor that once went into bringing garments to life — from the inspired workshops at the early stages of the design process, to the frenzied fittings before a magazine photoshoot.
In one image, two models are flanked by several handlers — some in white lab coats — who are taking notes and carefully studying the clothing. In another, a model is wearing knee pads and holding a mirror and sneakers in one hand, all while a curious onlooker observes. Clearly, the bystander’s interest has been piqued.
“Fashion in its ready-to-wear version once more makes the headlines, becomes the protagonist, as might have happened thirty years ago, when sensational headlines on covers were devoted to a must-have hemline, a seasonal colour, a fabric,” Gucci’s statement explains. “Through a dynamic visual narrative, it is suggested that the product must take center stage. The clothes take on the role of absolute protagonists and tell their own story.”
Overall, the photos provide a deeper examination of Michele’s much talked about FW19 show, which took place at Gucci’s headquarters in Milan earlier this year.