The Golden Age of Gucci: The interlocked “G’s” have been the through line of my entire November, from the Gucci Love Parade fashion show I attended with my friend, Mari at the month’s genesis, to the House of Gucci costume exhibition at FIDM, the Gucci Gardenia pop-up at the Grove and the grand finale: seeing House of Gucci on the big screen (view my past Gucci experiences here and here).
Sure, House of Gucci is drawing both admiration and some criticism right now, but whichever camp you fall into, this is undeniable: the film and the festivities around the luxury brand this past month have put new pep into our monogrammed loafer steps. I’ve had lengthy conversations about The House of Gucci’s fashionable force over the public with coworkers, family, friends and even strangers. I’ll never forget what this one woman at the Gucci Gardenia Pop-up (which practically looked like a pink gingerbread house outside of the colossal Christmas tree at the Grove) said to me: “I haven’t seen Los Angeles visitors and natives get this excited about experimenting with their personal style since the pandemic began. People have been coming here dressed to the nines in looks inspired by the movie, and it’s inspiring me too!” It’s a phenomena I’ve also felt in my veins, and translated to my vestments: I practically cat walked across the FIDM museum galleries filled with looks from the film, the walls encapsulated in rouge.
The creative choice evoked a photographer’s red room, and along the walls above the mannequins in their Gucci finery, were stills of Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, and Jared Leto from the movie. The red walls picked up on my rouge Gucci belt, calling like to like. The accessory on my person was the centerpiece to a wildwood of forest-green fabric. This cutout sweater and tailored trouser combination screamed professional with edge, while remaining nonchalantly comfortable for walking around all of LA for all things Gucci, including the exhibition (which you can catch until December 4). Seeing these looks translate on screen, with all the other production elements in place, this was clear:
Ridley Scott may have penned the “House of Gucci” script inspired by real events that are so over-the-top you cannot make it up (granted, they did take some creative license with it, and I highly recommend supplementing the movie with news articles about the real-life Gucci family), but costume designer Janty Yates embroidered the plotline into the character’s wardrobe. After all, the woman is fluent in various genres of film: from the historically iconic The Gladiator (which she won an Oscar for), to the futuristic fixings of the The Martian. House of Gucci, set in the ‘80s and ‘90s was close enough to our timeline for style notes to be applicable rather than farfetched, but unique enough to add a refresh to any person’s closet.
(Be advised: slight spoilers ahead).
The Literal Meaning of a ‘Power Suit’
From a white snakeskin skirt suit with an asymmetrical torso, to a blue and white tweed number adorned with pearl buttons, Lady Gaga transformed into her own rendition of Patrizia Reggiani in style. At five-foot-two, she stood taller in these luxurious uniforms of an Italian socialite, shoulder pads and all. Reggiani’s power (and her hunger for it) seemed to reach a fever pitch once she transformed from the daughter of an Italian entrepreneur and his mistress, clad in plain brown skirt suits, to one trimmed in tweed and 24–carat gold jewelry. But that power [dressing], needs to come with responsibility and compassion, the most crucial accessories to the outfit that you shouldn’t leave home without.
Logomania can either divide or unify
Brand identity starts with two things: building a culture around the house and iconizing its symbol. In Gucci’s case, it’s the fraternal twinned G’s. As more Gucci family members come into the fold of the family business and begin to dawn the double-G logo across vests, scarves and belts further and further throughout the House of Gucci, it divides rather than brings them together, quite in contrast with the interlocked “G’s” inseparable nature across the items they wear. But here’s the thing about a logo: branding is two sides of the same coin, and its effect on people is all in your hands. Flip the coin, flip the script: If you wear a label for the sake of art and admiration, it communicates taste, style, and the choice to take part in the culture that a brand has cultivated over decades with love and care. When you dawn a logo or any designer piece as a power symbol to intimidate others, you’re letting it wear and control your humanity, which was much to the downfall of the characters in the film.
Everything was bigger and better in the ‘80s and ‘90s
This one I have been wearing as a picket sign in the form of outfits throughout my adult life (thank you mom for passing down your collection from the ‘80s and ‘90s to me), but the last twenty years of the twentieth century, were fashion at its most vivacious and effervescent. It’s the type of “dopamine dressing” (a term coined by fashion psychologist and friend, Dawnn Karen) that we need as this pandemic continues.
The new note I took from the film: Italian fashion in the ’80s was on a new level of maximalist and mesmerizing. Two looks that popped like crazy on screen weren’t even the stereotypical neon numbers one would recall from that time period. It was the “The Black Widow” (Reggiani) coated in white. No, not the wedding dress in the smack center of the exhibition. The halter-top floor length gown in ivory and patterned in pearls she dawned during a glitzy nightcap was one. The second: a summer dress in lace with an attached cape to match, cinched with a chunky black belt and gold buckle. A sign of the times, the accessory was paired with a structured black handbag to match. The motifs on both dresses reminded me of my mother’s engagement dress in a white floral lace, cap sleeves bookended with pearls. I can’t wait to shop my mom’s closet some more in an effort to put a Milanese spin on the retro raiment I’ve already been slipping into.
Personal style is the new body language
The power of clothing like any other force, can be wielded for good or evil, as aforementioned. Let’s put the back-stabbing and lethal decisions by the characters of this film aside: In neutral terms, when you’re wearing something self-actualizing, you stand in those clothes a certain way. Your posture unconsciously self-corrects, your diaphragm has more space to support your breath, and your words come out with amplified conviction. Choose your clothes and how your wear them wisely (that includes the life decisions you make in them), and you can reach your full potential the right way.
Which outfit was your favorite?
Keeping it Krischic,