For his Fall/Winter 2022 collection, Creative Director Alessandro Michele muses on reflection, reality, and self-image
“Quite a stifling perspective,” remarks Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, on Vincent de Beauvais’ musings on the mirror. In Speculum Maius—the thirteenth-century encyclopedia—the thinker endorsed the looking glass as a tool capable of the perfect reproduction of reality. “I’ve always been averse to the myth of the exact vision,” writes Michele in the house’s press release. “For this reason, I wanted to restore another feature of the mirror.”
The creative director’s convictions manifested in Exquisite Gucci; the Fall/Winter 2022 show was held in a sort of house of mirrors, where models and guests appeared as distortions of their real-life selves, reflected in a runway lined with floor-to-ceiling distorting glass. “It’s the celebration of the metamorphosis,” writes Michele, “where the playful mechanics of refractions shatter every spatial limit and pave the way for escape.”
The clothing, in turn, offers the wearer a new way of seeing themself. There’s a campiness, a costume-like quality to the designs that render them quite transformative. Models wore berets and capes and fingerless gloves. There was every sort of pattern and print, and fur, lace, leather, knit, and corduroy. Notably, Gucci debuted a large-scale collaboration with Adidas. Stripes and trefoils appeared everywhere: on floor-length dresses, standalone hoods, bustiers, trousers, baggy suits, more berets, more gloves, and inevitably, tracksuits.
The Gucci show mimicked one of those universal, tangible experiences: trying something new on, standing in the mirror, and realizing that it makes you act and feel different. “Clothes offer themselves as makers of manifold,” writes Michele. “Wearing them means to cross a transformative threshold where we become something else.”