Fashion so often hides behind a mask of splendor. Collections are shot and presented in far-flung locations around the world while the curtain remains closed on those who actually work behind the scenes. For Gucci's Resort 2021 Epilogue collection, that concept is turned on its head. The Milan-based label is debuting its latest collection via a 12-hour livestream on July 17, going behind the scenes of its latest campaign shoot. And the models showcasing the latest designs are none other than the designers who create each piece.
"For a whole day anybody will be able to investigate, thanks to suitably arranged cameras, the process through which the design office will embody Gucci’s new advertising campaign," creative director Alessandro Michele writes via release. "What happens to the relation between reality and fiction when prying eyes sneak into the mechanisms of the production of an image?" The campaign, which was shot at Rome's Palazzo Sacchetti, is entitled Epilogue as it serves as the third and final part of a series imagined by Michele that gives a more perspicuous view into his work.
The first chapter was February's Fall/Winter 2020 show which showcased the act of models getting dressed as the actual runway showing. The second was the campaign for the same collection, shot candidly at home by the models included. "I asked them to represent the idea they have of themselves. To go public with it, shaping the poetry that accompanies them. I encouraged them to play, improvising with their life,” Michele wrote on Instagram at the time.
Now, the latest collection harkens back to much of what makes Gucci's eccentric and multi-dimensional aesthetic under Michele. Drawing inspiration from hundreds of years of fashion history, the creative director manages season after season to distill an eclectic vision into a collection that is unmistakably his own.
This season, styling notes accompany the images of the label's employees-come-models. Handbag designer Beatrice Gianni is layered up in a skirted suit look complete with clashing jacquard prints and snakeskin boots with Gucci's signature horsebit. Min Yu Park, a men's ready-to-wear designer is dressed in Michele's take on the '60s shift dress and tights combination, complete with oversized blue sunglasses.
Near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Michele made the announcement that he would be amending Gucci's show schedule, falling in line with a number of other designers who are proposing a slowing of the current pace of collections. While the outcome of that proposal may mean that this marks a final cruise collection for the label, looking at the designs themselves, especially in the context in which Michele creates and shares them, it seems obvious that a traditional seasonal tie isn't necessary to further that vision.