Gucci head honcho Alessandro Michele is nothing if not bold, offering wild creations and unbridled imagination in his seven years at the helm. But even by his standards, we have to stand back and clap at Gucci Exquisite, a campaign tribute to the films of Stanley Kubrick.
“The Gucci Exquisite campaign is my tribute to cinema and to one of its brightest maestros, Stanley Kubrick,” says Michele. “A philosophic filmmaker who, better than others, emanated the magic of that inextricable knot through which cinema exudes life and magnifies it.”
From the outset, clothing was vital in Kubrick’s movies, adding depth and character development. It’s something that has long influenced the world of fashion too. While Jun Takahashi’s Undercover has featured several homages to the man himself, A Clockwork Orange has played heavily on popular culture since its 1971 debut, influencing punk, rock and being picked up by the likes of Supreme and Jean Paul Gaultier, and Hermès. It was not lost on the Gucci creative director.
“As an act of love, I decided to reinhabit Kubrick’s films, pushing to the core this incendiary approach. I took the liberty of disassembling, blending, grafting and reassembling them. Sticking to my creative praxis, I seized those movies, romanticising them, populating them with my clothes.”
Along with Oscar-winning costume designer, Milena Canonero, Michele went over his favourite scenes from iconic Kubrick movies, the result being an adidas gown appearing as a new character in the script of Barry Lindon, while a Laura Whitcomb dress blending into the gothic beauty of The Shining. A “venus in fur” inhabits the dark world of Eyes Wide Shut, and ’90s shoes with a fetish flavour explode through the frames of A Clockwork Orange. Finally, an evening dress dangled in soft tulle ruches bursts into the aseptic and dystopian space of the Discovery One in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a wild ride. We think Kubrick would approve.
“What he created is part of our collective imagination,” continued Michele. “Since he was a diviner of vision, his works are as recognisable as the Sistine Chapel, the Virgin of the Rocks or The Simpsons.”