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Improvisation is a collaborative act. It is when the free impulses of individual minds intertwine that collective expressions emerge. Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2023 menswear collection makes improvisation its methodology: a constructive tool for creation.
A practice used in various artistic disciplines such as theatre or music that is based on the know-how of those who carry it out. The performers, when asked to improvise, agree and activate the intuition of their craft. Gucci embraces the curiosity and spontaneity of improvised ideas, making this collection a natural reflection of the individualities embodied by the multi-faceted creatives and artisans who inhabit the house; those who draw on diverse knowledge, techniques and imaginative processes to create a broader concept: the aesthetics of improvisation.
A premise that Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog have taken on in the form of a live performance. Through a customised soundtrack that evolves as the show progresses, the noise rock trio emulates the energies of the collection, inspired by elements of genres such as jazz and punk, inherent to musical improvisation.
The group appears on a spherical stage surrounding the runway: a circular formation symbolising the turning of the collaborative wheel that defines the Gucci creative community. It frames a collection based on the archetypes of the classic gentleman’s wardrobe, redefined through the amplification of handcrafted luxury and the subversive lens of improvisation. Activated by the diverse expressions of the characters who wear them, the garments reflect different conceptions of the seduction immanent to Gucci masculinity.
Crystal GG, the new lacquered interpretation of the House’s monogrammed canvas – a design from the seventies – makes the collection a visual freestyle tool. Infused with the vibrant colours and muted pastel tones that characterise the show, the fabric – whose name lives up to its sheen – is present on overalls, bags and shoes in relaxed, oversized construction, giving rise to an aged tactile sensibility that gives them a soul of their own.
The collection revolves around how the individual chooses to wear a garment or accessory. The gestures, the wear and the personality with which he imbues it. A notion embellished with pieces of jewellery reminiscent of the Gucci archive – the piston clasp, the Horsebit, the cross – that evoke emotional traces of an intimate nature.
Loose, voluminous tailoring silhouettes allow for improvised looks. A feeling that is reflected in suits with detachable elements that allow them to be transformed into waistcoats and shorts. The freedom and boldness of contemporary masculinity give shape to hybrid garments – in terms of construction or styling – born for the confluence of historically contrasting wardrobe backgrounds: sportswear inspired by the 80s archive evokes dance codes, while biker wear pays homage to archive pieces from the early 2000s or is combined with archetypal overcoats. Inspired by the same era, worn-in jeans – as if washed with petrol – are adorned with the logo that Gucci introduced back in 1953 for the opening of its first shop in New York.
Various custom pieces celebrate improvised self-expression: vintage-style scarves tied to bags and used as patches for jeans; tracksuit linings deconstructed and reconverted into decorative details; classic dress trousers transformed into sculptural draped skirts that skim the floor and show off leg as you walk. Effects that give form to constructions that are not what they seem. When subjected to scrutiny, we discover a classic jogger made of lightweight leather, and a sailor jacket – apparently feathered – with an all-over embroidery of multi-dimensional white sequins that only enhance the craftsmanship that defines the House.
The collection features an oversized reinterpretation of the softly constructed Jackie bag, adorned with the piston clasp originally created for Gucci by Tom Ford and available in pastel shades of crocodile. From its original decorative structure, the Dionysus – subjected to exclusive manufacturing techniques – retains only its iconic horseshoe clasp adorned with tiger heads and a new leather strap.
The suitcases, with shoulder strap, are made from colourful lacquered canvas, while Crystal GG canvas gives life to a new rectangular travel bag with relaxed lines available in the collection’s colour palette as well as a seventies classic: the round-toe ankle boot. The footwear line also includes closed heel sandals, an oversized Princetown model with the signature green-red-green signature and a Horsebit moccasin with a worn effect that reflects the personalised character of the collection. A new model of padded biker boots, available in a multitude of colours, completes the offer.