Hollywood Boulevard, a sidewalk with stars that line a street of dreams. These are the aspirations, realized, cemented into the ground iconizing actors and musicians who have “made it.”
The Walk of Fame also represents the hopes of aspiring creatives and legends in the making. As Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele points out in his show notes, “Hollywood is nine letters dripping with desire.” Gucci’s Love Parade,” Tuesday along that infamous pink-and-black star walk, was like drinking in that fantasy after a parched season. In Southern California, style aficionados like myself were thirsting for high fashion. Meanwhile, a design dignitary like Michele hankering for Hollywood.
Lights, Camera, Fashion:
Michele’s mother worked as production assistant when he was younger and had dreams of his own. Regal Reveries of Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe, he explained in his show notes, expanded his world beyond his “squat in the outskirts of Rome.” While I am unsure if the hopes in his boyhood were to eventually be the new guard at Gucci, which has been around almost as long as Hollywood, he himself has become a famous figure in his own right. He is standing in the monogrammed loafer shoes that Guccio Gucci did exactly 100 years ago when he birthed the fashion house as a luxury travel brand. No doubt, canvas luggage not too far removed from the original Gucci designs were what Michele packed his belongings in to head to the City of Angels this past week. For Gucci’s centennial celebration, Michele wrote a love Letter to Hollywood. Instead of ink, he dictated it through needle and thread. In place of parchment, he employed fabrics lined with fur and sequins. Envelopes sealed in interlocked ‘G’s for Gucci, and hand delivered.
The aforementioned love letter was sonnet to the onscreen icons of 20th century: Models glided down the walk of fame looking like cinematic sirens—from ‘70s tweed suits topped with cowboy hats echoing the industry’s iconic westerns to a champagne dress accompanied by a feather boa reminiscent of film noir, but then accessorized with a punk-rock version of a Cleopatra headpiece, black latex opera gloves, and oversized shades. The runway was like a film strip in real time, each look adding to the eclectic plot of the show. Needless to say, Michele brought with him a whole entourage for a procession, to make sure Hollywood was aware that she was indeed his beloved and held a special place in his and mother’s hearts.
A Deleted Scene:
And it was to be a grand gesture to proclaim this admiration. Gucci shut down the entire Hollywood boulevard that evening, marking its presence with the El Capitan marquis spelling out “Gucci Love Parade.” The endless constellational curb normally dotted with the footprints of tourists and celebrity impersonators, now lined with the larger-than-life beings that flood our Instagram feed. In addition to three rows of glitterati made up of A-listers (Miley, Cyrus, Dakota Johnson, Billie Eilish, and Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few), Influencers (Chriselle Lim, Aimee Song, and Bryan Boy), and fashion journalists alike, the show welcomed spectators who made the pilgrimage specifically for this show, or simply stumbled upon it in wonder.
And I can tell you that the democratization of this stylish spectacle was intentional, from the runway’s open-air concept (normally the Oscars red carpet and film premieres at El Capitan I’ve attended are closed off to the public by a tent) to the series of “trailers” for the upcoming featurette on social media. Sure, the who’s who got to sit in the Gucci canvas director’s chairs embroiderd with names of Greek Myth, but Michele did not turn away his fellow dreamers, who would no doubt be inspired by the over a hundred thoughtfully designed garments in the way that the golden age of Hollywood inspired him.
And perhaps those behind the velvet rope had a special advantage. Earning prime real estate at the show meant getting there a couple hours before it started. In that time, models were in their off-duty attire. For some, that meant a white robe with heels. For others, a velvet burnt orange suit with bell bottom trousers and Gucci loafers. They strutted down the runway receiving direction from men in black masks and headsets, waving their hands incessantly if models were falling behind or walking too quickly. Even the Jared Leto, who doesn’t seem to age, wasn’t above this instruction. Between their stage direction, he kindly smiled in acknowledgement of the crowd forming and cheering for him. And guess what? Leto, who will be starring in House of Gucci just weeks from now, was not the only celebrity cameo in the love parade. St. Vincent (whose “Los Ageless” now seems to have been a foreshadowing), Phoebe Bridgers, Macaulay Culkin (clad in garb straight out of Once Upon Time in Hollywood) were some those cast in starring roles. It was hard not fangirl a little as they stepped down the runway to the beat of Bjork’s “All is Full of Love” and “Big Time Sensuality.”
Some Notes From Wardrobe Department:
Attending this show was my own fantasy realized. It took me and my mother hours, and various wardrobe combinations to find the right outfit that whimsically whispered “Gucci.” We looked retro and recent Gucci campaigns and decided to fashion something mismatched that still made sense. The foundation for this look was a cheetah print dress in pistachio green, complete with shoulder pads and a cutout on the torso. As if the dress wasn’t wild enough, I paired it with some wine-colored tights and tinselly shoes as an on-the-nose reference (or should I say on the toes) reference to the “silver screen.” I filled in the plot holes between the mix-and-matched lines of this look with some tassel earrings that picked up on the burgundy legwear and the rhinestones, the green frock. What truly tied it all together: my vintage paisley Oscar De La Renta silk scarf which I donned as a headband. To really go the extra Gucci mile, top-framed ‘60s glasses and a fur-lined plaid Staud jacket picking up on the ‘70s suits in the show (coincidentally) were a must.
What was your favorite look from the show?
Keeping it Krischic,