The New Gucci Man: Gucci Menswear Fall/Winter 2023
The House finds itself exiting its maximalist geek-chic splendor and entering an age of glossy spellbound seduction
Undulating waves and strobing lights reverberate through a spherical runway announcing the commencement of a new era. Experimental music trio, Ceramic Dog, builds suspense through an improvisational soundtrack, fusing jazz and punk, as guests shift their gaze to the first look of Gucci’s future—post-Michele.
THE NEW GUCCI MAN
At its core, Gucci’s ethos took form in power and seduction encapsulated in a cold-shiny shell of understated luxury. As delightful as its recent disruption of house codes under prior Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s eight-year tenure, Gucci finds itself exiting its maximalist geek-chic splendor and entering an age of glossy spellbound seduction.
The Gucci man is no longer a relic of the twentieth century. The warmth is drained from his palette. He now runs cold. Returning from a plethora of co-ed shows, he now takes center stage. He does not share. Basking in the strobing lights, he locks his spectators in a trance of sheer sophistication diffused through a lens of chic minimalism.
MERGING TRADITION & INNOVATION
With an ode to the ultra-sleek silhouette-conscious philosophy of its predecessors, Tom Ford and Frida Giannini, Gucci excavates its surface of nostalgic romanticism to seek innovation. Referring to the house’s iconic shift bordering the turn of the century, the Milanese fashion giant ventures through its past to establish a visual marriage of contrasting elements.
Bulky knitwear is paired with vinyl trousers, giving an eclectic bite to its menswear. Fusing its heritage of the soft and dapper quality of Michele’s work with Ford’s titillating edge, the brand’s DNA now morphs into a dualism of subdued edge while continuing to subvert gender constraints with hints of soft masculinity.
TAILORING AS THE NEW LOGO
Exiting an exhaustive period of logomania, the eponymous Italian fashion house shifts its emphasis to tailoring. Gucci incorporates curvilinear, free-flowing forms in a new language of elegance, enveloping its wearers in voluminous and powerful silhouettes. Wide-fit, pleated trousers and oversized blazers framed by protruding shoulders ingrain strength and graceful movement into its collections as models tread the runway.
The new collection reminisces its roots of subdued sophistication while bringing its tailoring into a more casual context. Further sealing the return of the suit in daily wear, it includes detachable elements that transform garments into sleeveless jackets and shorts in a split second.
The House of Gucci’s clever use of androgyny and muted dusty colors suggests a subtle nod to the grunge chic aesthetics of the 90s. Variations of floor-length skirts paired with boxy blazers redolent of power dressing of the late twentieth century suggest a new notion of masculinity in its evolving vision. Cunningly calculated slits add rugged defiance to the malleable silhouettes tipping the scales between masculinity and femininity. In doing so, Gucci’s design team creates a form that is as memorable as it is comfortable.
COALESCING THE REBEL & THE ROMANTIC
In the absence of an official Creative Director, its design team has managed to tastefully merge the rebel and the romantic. A black leather jacket with a rounded ivory shearling collar and a graphic fur-lined quilted jacket incarnates this duality.
Statement pieces made appearances down the runway in the form of a gunmetal sequined blazer and metallic pants reminiscent of aluminum foil. While the collection suggests a departure from the claustrophobia of its love affair with logos, it wouldn’t be a Gucci show without at least a few statement pieces rocking its symbol of international clout. A pair of slim-fit stone wash jeans resplendent in crystal renditions of its insignia of interlocking G’s contrasted a neutral crew-neck sweater on the runway.
Accessories presented this season follow a sublime, unsuspecting approach that prioritizes their tactile appeal as opposed to the visual. Gucci ingrains antiquated charm into its bags and shoes by incorporating the house’s Crystal GG, a lacquered interpretation of monograms from canvases of its archives from the 70s. Featuring the Piston Lock, Horesbit, and the Cross, its affinity for historical context is extended to this collection by emphasizing its archives as a foundation for jewelry and accessories.
A striking example is its re-imagination of the Jackie Bag, initially devised by Tom Ford. With a magnified and softened construction, the bag’s latest rendition provides an invigorating shift while paying tribute to its original Piston Lock adornment. Likewise, this season’s footwear updates its Princetown slipper with expanded dimensions while honoring its signature green-red-green web. That’s not all. In addition to revamping the beloved slipper, its footwear welcomes a soft, quilted motorcycle boot.
INDIVIDUALISM THROUGH IMPROVISATION
The brand’s talented design team comes together to demonstrate its sartorial savoir-faire as it employs improvisation as a focal point of inspiration this season. Further, the House of Gucci extends its vision for this collection past the confines of a singular overarching concept to encompass a more expansive view of style. It considers its team’s and its wearers’ individualism, drawing on diverse frames of thought and tastes.
While Michele’s successor is still an enigma, its future presents exciting potential with Gucci’s newfound identity.