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Unmasking

Gucci unveils a collection representing the different facets of identity

Published

By KERRY TINGA 

GARDEN OF GUCCI The glass-enclosed showroom of Nai Lert Park in Bangkok was where rows of masked mannequins stood side by side wearing Gucci's ready-to-wear fall 2019 collection

GARDEN OF GUCCI The glass-enclosed showroom of Nai Lert Park in Bangkok was where rows of masked mannequins stood side by side wearing Gucci’s ready-to-wear fall 2019 collection

With Alessandro Michele at its creative helm, Gucci has been a clear vanguard of non-binary fashion, emphasizing individuality and character. Its vintage aesthetic takes a part romantic, part fetish view of the past decades for a unique offering in our oversaturated, over the filter-ized world. In line with their ethos, Gucci took us on a one-of-a-kind experience in the City of Angels.

At the Asian press open house in Bangkok, guests walked through the beautifully landscaped Nai Lert Park. Handsome, century-old trees framed the quaint walkways in the peaceful, Western-styled oasis hidden in the heart of the bustling Thai capital.

Alessandro Michele

Alessandro Michele

Nestled in the compound was the glass-enclosed showroom, filled with natural light that shone through the windows. While it might have been a departure from their Milan runway earlier this year—thousands of LED lights in a futuristic, mirrored setting—it was just as off-beat, off the usual, and as such, completely, uniquely at home.

The intricate, colorful patterns of the Persian-style carpets complemented the eclectic collection. It is a mix of fantastical, sequin pieces alongside playful, geometric patterns, and punk-esque spiked accessories, everything that one has come to love with Michele’s Gucci, plus a bit of the playfully unexpected.

La maschera come taglio tra visible e invisible. The mask as a cut between the visible and invisible.

VINTAGE VIBE Gucci's ready-to-wear fall 2019 collection featuring square-frame sunglasses

VINTAGE VIBE Gucci’s ready-to-wear fall 2019 collection featuring square-frame sunglasses

Masks adorned the faces of mannequins, a costume touch adding to the kitsch value of Gucci, as well as an important symbol of what the brand has come to represent.

It harkened to ancient Greek dramas, when actors in large amphitheaters put on masks of terracotta, stone, or bronze with exaggerated features to play apart—from the recognizable mask of Thalia, the muse of comedy, to the mask of Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, and everything in between.

But to those ancient Greeks, they were not masks. They were prosopon, faces, personas of how they were to be perceived. An actor was not a mere actor but Prometheus or Hercules or Antigone, becoming whichever persona was held in the mask he wore.

Now fast forward thousands of years to the present, most amphitheaters are in ruin halfway across the globe. I am in the middle of Bangkok surrounded by mannequins and masks.

There is a transformative element of a mask, of what we adorn ourselves with generally, to complete an outward appearance, part of who we are. We are a mix of elements unseen and seen, of what we choose to show just as much as what we choose behind.

Chi la indossa si veste di ciò che lo denuda. Who wears it is dressed with what undresses it.

The masks are not for sale, but the beautifully tailored pieces and fine leather goods are, each meticulously designed and made to complement an individual, not compromise their individuality.

The collection offers an eclectic mix we can draw from to show elements of who we are. Even if we hide behind massive, framed shades, we show who we are. Even if we hide in oversized sweater shirts, we show who we are. Even if we show skin, we are showing much more of who we are with beautiful pieces that tell individual stories.

The strength of Michele’s Gucci is not just how it showcases his uncompromising individuality as a designer. It shares that opportunity to showcase individuality to others, with every stitch and finish of exquisite craftsmanship.

Per vivere come distinti e unici tra uguali. To live as a distinct and unique being among equals.

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