Gucci Trades The Average Sex-Appeal for Post-Human Philosophy at Milan Fashion Week
Leave it to Gucci to bust down the doors at Milan Fashion Week in what is being said to be their most bizarre show yet. In a runway setting designed to look like a surgical ward, models walk with a third eye, faun horns, and double heads. And if that's not bizarre, they don't just strut down the catwalk in this fall's 2018 ready-to-wear ensemble, they strut with eerily detailed replicas of their own heads.
Gucci's fashion designer, Alessandro Michele, focuses on the concept of identity, culture, gender, and transformation which is referenced in Donna Haraway's, "A Cyborg Manifesto." The post-human theory-themed manifesto was the main inspiration for Michele's collection. The essay highlights the criticism on the traditional constructs of feminism, it's identity, boundaries, and traditional conformities.
Gucci's collection, titled "Cyborg," reflects and questions those boundaries. We are neither one thing nor the other, human and animal or human and machine. Models carrying their replicated heads are to represent transformation, to enable others of what we are and who we want to become. "We are the Doctor Frankenstein," Michele stated in The Guardian. Frankenstein, ergo the surgical ward, "Identity, though, is neither a natural matter nor a preset category, which can be imposed with violence," Gucci announces in its press release. "It’s not an immutable and fixed fact, rather a social and cultural construction and, as such, it’s a matter of choice, joining, invention. Identity, thus, is a never-ending process, keen on new determinations each time."
If carrying someone's head doesn't turn yours, other totems follow with models carrying reptiles like the chameleon, the snake, and--yes--even a sleeping, baby dragon. The fantastical touch was inspired by "Legend of the Baby Dragon in the Jar," the "real story of an author who staged finding a baby dragon in his garage in Oxford, England," the title posted via Gucci's Instagram.
The collection is a conversation on the present "post-human" world we live in. It makes the audience recognize culture and change, which aligns serendipitously with the #MeToo movement and the clusterfuck controversy of our country's culture under current fire. This goes beyond a statement tee and superficial basic thrills. It's an active voice stemming away from the epitome of sex-appeal and commercial femininity. It leaves room for argument, debate, and conversation. Did we expect anything less? No. I didn't think so.
Written by Leslie Gonzalez
Images c/o Gucci