Gucci closed down Hollywood Boulevard on Tuesday night and transformed the Walk of Fame into a cinematic runway, showcasing more than 100 looks and including 12 celebrity models such as Jared Leto, Macaulay Culkin, St. Vincent, and Miranda July.
For a few hours, searchlights illuminated the sky, and the street was devoid of celebrity impersonators, hucksters, preachers, and tourists. The El Capitan Theatre’s neon sign flashing “Gucci Love Parade” was a Hollywood dream.
“I feel like I’m on a movie set,” Tracee Ellis Ross explained. “The show hasn’t started yet, but honestly, I feel like it has because of the way everyone has put themselves together,” she said of the scene, in which Miley Cyrus hung out with Lizzo, Maneskin strolled past Olympic skateboarder Nyjah Huston, and Gwyneth Paltrow posed with Dakota Johnson, her ex-husband Chris Martin’s new paramour.
It’s only in Hollywood!
Alessandro Michele intended to be a costume designer before settling on fashion, and he has had a love affair with Hollywood since taking over as Gucci’s creative director in 2015. He’s cast Leto in perfume commercials, collaborated with Elton John on a capsule collection, outfitted Harry Styles for his transition from boy band to solo star and made him the face of Gucci tailoring, premiered the star-studded seven-part miniseries “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended” with Gus Van Sant, and so on.
It had all been building up to this point.
“This was me rediscovering my passion of my job and how much of this brand is tied to movies,” the designer said of the decision to stage Gucci’s first in-person presentation since the epidemic in Los Angeles. “Hollywood is the American Olympus,” Michele continued, adding how his mother worked in cinema and taught him to classic films.
Indeed, the Gucci trademark directors’ chairs for the evening’s 500 all-front-row visitors were emblazoned with the names of film gods and goddesses, as well as Greek and Roman deities.
How could anyone not be captivated? From haute glamour-puss dresses, 1940s-meets-1970s tailoring, and multicoloured lace tuxes secured with floppy fabric corsages, to casual Gucci “souvenir” shirts, flowery boiler suits, racy Gucci logo leggings, and catsuits, the collection delivered.
Whereas the Aria collection, shown in April as a short film, paid homage to Gucci’s bourgeois roots and rise to the realm of pop culture through music, this Love Parade was about Hollywood’s role in creating the Gucci myth, including the many costume designers that Michele has clearly been inspired by, from Travis Banton to Adrian to Arianne Phillips, whose Aloha shirt for Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” came to mind.
To wit: If Hollywood is built on desire, there was plenty to seduce, from the golden age’s teasing marabou-trimmed dressing gowns, serpent coiled bodice dresses, and trailing boas, to tantalising “50 Shades” sex toys as jewellery, fetishist masks, latex corsets and bras, as well as Western wear and cowboy hats taken from queer cinema but just as easily could have come from Lil Nas X
Certain features were unmistakably reminiscent of blonde venuses Marilyn Monroe and Mae West, broad-shouldered heroes Rock Hudson and John Wayne, and other ghosts ensconced under the starry pavements, only in Gucciwood, they weren’t bound by colour, gender, size, or a studio mogul’s ideal.