A Film Series Instead of a Runway Show? Groundbreaking.

I know it’s December and I probably should be writing about something for the holidays or cold weather, but I just feel it is my obligation to talk about Gucci Fest. Gucci Fest is a series of short films on their YouTube channel that comes from the collaboration of creative director Alessandro Michele and award-winning director Gus Van Sant. I’m not sure where my recent love for Gucci has come from, maybe it’s because I’ve chosen them to be the center for a lot of my projects this semester or that I am in awe of what Alessandro Michele is doing for the brand. Or maybe it’s the fact that Harry Styles is a face of Gucci and has become one of the most influential people in fashion, but that’s an article for a different day. 

Let’s first talk about the concept of the short films. Now that COVID has really hurt the luxury fashion sector and there are no traditional runway shows, brands have to get creative. I honestly wouldn’t expect anything less from Gucci and I think this idea will change the game for how brands present their future collections even post pandemic. Michele wanted to try something new and experiment with the idea about what happens to the clothes after they are finished on the runway and how clothes really are a part of our lives. 

I personally love the idea because it depicts the characters doing very typical everyday activities such as going to the post office, meeting friends at a café and the theater while wearing the new designs. In the series Ouverture Of Something That Never Ended, it included the work of 15 emerging fashion designers along with directors from all over the world. The main character in this series is Silvia Calderoni, a nonbinary actress who goes throughout her days while styled perfectly in the latest collection. Cameos from different celebrities make an appearance such as Harry Styles (thank God), Billie Eilish, Arlo Parks, and Jeremey O. Harris. 

There really isn’t much plot to the series itself, it was meant to highlight the new collection which I think aligns with Gucci and their brand. When I go onto their website and see the styled looks, I feel inspired. At first, it looks like there is no rhyme or reason for how these clothes are put together. The colors don’t go together, there are different textures, and different patterns, bright colors and of course oversized sunglasses. To most people, they might see it as not matching, but to me it’s expressing that the clothes don’t always matter, but instead it matters how confident you feel while wearing them. 

I think above all, including seeing Harry styled in denim cutoffs and a pink t-shirt with the classic horsebit loafers, I loved the different messages that are presented in the films. My personal favorite is the episode that has Paul B. Preciado, a Spanish philosopher, who is giving a lecture about gender theory and later directly addresses Silvia and says “This revolution is going to be about love. About changing desires.” I think that quote speaks volumes, especially in our current times with grown woman crying about Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue. Since when has fashion become about gender? Fashion is supposed to be about expressing yourself, feeling your most confident and letting that show through your clothing choices. I think Gucci is doing an incredible job of paving the way for this lesson. I won’t go on and on about gender neutral fashion because that’s not what this article is about, but I can’t write about Gucci and not at least touch on it. 

As I wrap up this article, I do encourage everyone to go watch the film series. It was so unique to the industry and very well done. One of the great things about this idea is that Michele gives his new collection a personality, in which he presents it under his vision of a freer world, a world where love is powerful, COVID doesn’t exist, and everyone is fabulously chic. Watching the episodes and seeing Silvia live her magical life of fashion and friends, I was reminded that is not our reality right now, but I had a greater appreciation for the smaller things in life. The ability to dress up to do the smallest of tasks is really what is keeping me going during this time. On Thanksgiving my sister asked why I was doing a full-face of makeup to sit in my uncle’s dining room and I simply responded, “because I want to.” What I took from this film series is that if I want to wear my senior year prom dress to the grocery store to buy my favorite dairy free ice cream, I will. 

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