Gucci Aria Collection and “Hacker Project” with Balenciaga

After revealing the Aria collection which saw a “hack” of design codes between Gucci and Balenciaga in April this year, Alessandro Michele’s “Hacker Project” is finally ready to hit stores around the world. Not only is this an exciting meeting of creative minds, but this year’s Aria collection also marks Gucci’s centenary, making it a significant collection of progressive expressions and historical allusions.

2021 marks an important year for Gucci as a fashion house as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is also the year that Alessandro Michele announced the departure of the house from the traditional fashion calendar. After reducing the number of annual shows to twice a year, Gucci Aria became the first collection to be launched in 2021. Aptly named “Aria”, the title of the collection refers to the Italian art of lyric opera. , an elaborate solo melody that puts the singer in the spotlight. —Like the way this century-old collection reveals the true voice and true colors of Gucci.

the look of gucci alessandro michele
Portrait of Alessandro Michele (Image: Kevin Tachman)

“To celebrate this anniversary is then to pay homage to the mother’s womb, but also become the other. “- Alessandro Michele

It is this desire to look back and evolve into something that led to the “Hacker Project”, which makes this fusion of codes between Balenciaga and Gucci even more extraordinary through the unexpected “hacking lab” (like Michele prefers to call it a collaboration) between the two fashion houses. Comprised of 94 pieces, this creative report looks back on the history of the house and nods to Michele’s immediate predecessor, Tom Ford, while transporting the brand into the present and the future.

The familiar “non-conformist rigor” of Demna Gvasalia’s designs for Balenciaga makes unexpected appearances in the Aria collection – iconic Balenciaga pieces such as leggings, “chopped” spandex basques with the familiar double “GG” monogram and Gucci’s familiar shades of green and red stripes. Likewise, other pieces feature Balenciaga logos cleverly incorporated into and above the Gucci logos and designs.

“In this sense, Gucci becomes for me a hacking lab, made of incursions and metamorphoses. An alchemical factory of contaminations where everything connects to anything. A place where thefts and explosive reactions take place: a permanent generator of sparks and unpredictable desires. On this occasion therefore, I want to honor my filial affection betraying the legacy bequeathed to me. Because the promise of an endless birth is only renewed through an evolutionary capacity, ”explains Michele.

Looks like Gucci

Paying homage to Gucci’s history, patterns and elements from the past come to life, with iconic signatures such as the house’s bamboo details, as well as the Mors et Flore pattern by illustrator Vittorio Accornero. The motif marks another important commission, made by Guccio’s son, Rodolfo Gucci, for Grace Kelly, i.e. Princess Grace of Monaco, in 1966.

“By crossing this threshold, I plundered the unconventional rigor of Demna Gvasalia and the sexual tension of Tom Ford; I lingered on the anthropological implications of what glitters, working on the shine of fabrics; I celebrated Gucci’s equestrian world by transfiguring it into a fetish cosmogony; I sublimated the silhouette of Marilyn Monroe and the glamor of old Hollywood; I sabotaged the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie and the codes of male couture, ”says Michele.

The house’s equestrian heritage also appears in the form of riding helmets emblazoned with “Savoy Club,” which refers to the brand’s starting point where Guccio Gucci first had the idea to start a luggage business. in leather while working there as a bellhop. Then there are further explorations of Gucci’s equestrian ties in the form of harnesses, boots and whips, this time with fetish touches reminiscent of “the sexual tension of Tom Ford” mentioned by Michele in his collection notes.

Further allusions to Tom Ford can be seen in the collection’s interpretation of the iconic red velvet tuxedo worn on the Fall / Winter 1966 runway show by model Trish Goff and later by Gwyneth Paltrow at the MTV Music Awards. In this Aria variation, the tuxedo is reinvented with pronounced shoulders and a leather harness.

For more information visit Gucci.

(All images: Gucci)

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