We live in a time where our experiences are inarguably mediated by the digital—right down to the social media avatars we create and curate daily to tell our stories in online spaces. And if it’s a designer’s job to translate the current cultural landscape, and mood of the times into the clothes we wear as we experience them; there’s arguably no one more on top of their game than Alessandro Michele. Gucci’s hardly a stranger to all things Internet—they launched a line of timepieces last year with a meme campaign that saw the heritaged Italian luxury brands in collaboration with a cast of digital creators. Inspired by the brand’s penchant for boldly going where no luxury brand has before, and with Michele delving deeper than seasons past into themes of identity, and the construction of the self, for Fall 2018, we figured there was no better way to capture the collection than a series of too-real memes inspired by each look. With artist, writer and DJ Juliana Huxtable as our subject, we like to think we did Michele proud.
My personal idea of the Gucci woman—I think there’s different ones for different people—is a little manic. I’m a little psychotic, so I think that’s fitting. I like things that are loud, and tend to be clashy, gaudy. Maybe what other people would say was tacky. [laughs] Love some tack.
With this collection, I liked the clothes because it seemed that there was a sort of pastiche, cut and paste relationship with references and certain concepts, which mimics this very Tumblr way of thinking how aesthetics relate to each other. That has its drawbacks and benefits, but I liked what was happening in terms of the fashion.”
Social media is sort of ubiquitous at this point, so it’s never a question of not thinking about it or thinking about it. What I’ve also been realizing as I’ve spent a lot of time traveling is that the relationship I have with social media is radically different depending on where you are. There are cities where people have kind of fatalistic ideas of what social media is or isn’t. I don’t endorse that, but I think it’s nice to be in places where they have different relationships to it. It’s been nice for my relationship to what it means to change or become more self-aware or critical. I think especially in New York, there’s a one-to-one relationship with being here and also engaging, because you’re inevitably engaging whether or not you choose to.”
I feel like social media is kind of an inevitability that people have to grapple with. Especially because fashion is cyclical, the cycles are pretty fast, and you only have so much of a window of time to make the impression you want to for a certain season. People have archival relationships with fashion, but I feel like it’s natural that fashion and social media would go hand in hand, because both of them rely on these faster cycles.”
I’m working on my second book, and then I will have two solo shows out next year. And I’m working on an album of music! I don’t know when it will be out, but definitely by fall of next year.”