Months later he repeated the magic with his womenswear collection. Every seat had on it a quote from the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben: “Those who are truly contemporary are those who neither perfectly coincide with their time nor adapt to its demands…Contemporariness, then, is that relationship with time that adheres to it through a disconnection.”
The new Gucci woman was, according to Nicole Phelps on Vogue Runway, an “ingenue with an eccentric side, one who looks as though she’s picked out her clothes at estate sales and vintage stores, and mixed them, magpie style with handfuls of heirloom rings, chunky rimmed glasses, the occasional pompom hat and fur-lined horsebit loafers.
Given that the accessories were as much a part of the final look as the clothes – Michele himself is a lover of jewellery, he sports ornate rings on every finger and even turned Harry Styles into the Boy with the Pearl Earring for this year’s Met Gala – it was only going to be a matter of time before Michele turned his attention to Gucci’s jewellery and watches.
What a difference a year made. Gone were the bamboo bezels, horsebit bracelets and bland, dainty watches. It its places was the gorgeously fantastical Le Marché des Merveilles collection. Loosely translated as “the Market of Wonders” this certainly was a magpie’s delight. Hearts, stars, bees and lions adorned bracelets, hung from pendants and replaced indices on watch dials. The pieces were romantic, fun and full of hidden symbols – the bee is considered by some cultures to be a sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld, and which, in Rome is the symbol of the Barberini dynasty, who were powerful in the 17th century. Its accompanying woozily shot campaign of ethereally beautiful girls resembled a group of bohemian aristocrats staging an impromptu production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in costumes raided from Granny’s attic – it was most certainly a gang you wanted to join, even if the only way of doing that was buying a necklace.
Michele even found the perfect poster girl for this new incarnation: Florence Welch, who, with her eccentric opulence and otherworldly stage presence, was the ideal muse.