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Gucci Fall 2017

RINGS! Large, chunky and one on just about every finger. Allessandro Michele for Gucci started the look a few years ago. He himself sports lots of big rings, many of them antique. When he took over as creative director in 2015, he shared the idea.

Other designers are picking it up with their individual spin. I see it in product ads as well.

Take a look at just a few I picked out.

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Tiffany’s approach is many smaller rings.

 

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Tacori is an even more delicate look.

 

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Chanel makes edgy elegant. Note the strand of pearls – a Chanel classic and another trend for fall.

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This is an ad for NARS and it’s my favorite chunky-ring-on-every-finger look. I think these are the most interesting collection of rings – not too big but big enough. They vary in shape and size.  Of interest but not obnoxious.

My style is small usually antique rings that I can stack. I learned this from my mother and we’ve both been doing that for years. I also like big chunky rings but I stick with just one at a time. However, I love this Gucci look on others and I hope to see more of it.

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Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar, August 2017. 

I like it when I see people dressed on the street and it looks like Gucci but it’s not. It means you are doing something right. If you want to go to the store, that’s fine. If you want to go to the market that’s much better. Or if you want to buy just a pair of shoes and then you want to go to the market, it’s better than better. 

Alessandro Michele, Italian designer for Gucci.

A great message – mix it up. Expensive with inexpensive – vintage with modern – brand with no-name. Get creative!

Speaking of designers, fashion week is coming up in NYC September 7-13, 2017.

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img_20161202_152514659Who doesn’t love a hoodie? They are warm and cozy and can (depending on the details and fabric) offer a modern, sharp look to any outfit. What I like is to sport a standard gray Champion hoodie with a skirt for an unexpected look. Sometimes I pin a large vintage rhinestone brooch on the shoulder for a touch of bling.

Part of the presentation assignment in Icons of the 20th Century, the CCSF class that I took last fall, was to design or style a look inspired by our presentation topic. My final presentation was on the history of the hoodie.

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Hoodie by Alessandro Michele.

The design I created is a black hoodie embellished with safety pins. I was inspired initially by Alessandro Michele for Gucci, who this season showed embroidered hoodies both on the front and hood of the garment. Thinking about what kind of embellishment to use, I was further inspired by the hoodie’s darker history and I decided to make the embellishment a statement using safety pins. After the election of Donald Trump, many people have taken to wearing safety pins as a sign of support for immigrants in this country who are now threatened with deportation by the Trump administration. (Wearing a single safety pin in support of immigrants started in the UK after the passing of Brexit in June of last year.) As a nod to Gucci styling I went beyond the single safety pin and used many.

img_20161202_143316125Of the four inspired designs I created for class, this is my favorite. I really enjoyed pondering how to embellish the hoodie and then when I came up with the safety pin idea, the fun part was the actual pinning. It was creative, it felt inspired, and I was proud of what I’d done.

I can’t think of a better learning experience.

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MTM1NDk2NDE2ODA1MDM0NDYyFashion is not about products. Fashion is about an amazing idea that you tried and you either fall in love with the idea and you can’t resist to buy something. But you are buying the idea, you are not buying the object.

– Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci.

Mr. Michele was appointed Creative Director of Gucci in January 2015, after having donned many other hats within the brand since 2002. The story goes that as he was just about to leave the company when CEO, Marco Bizzarri paid him a visit for coffee. The simple visit turned into a job offer and request – can you put together a men’s line in a week?

In the year and a half since, Mr. Michele has revitalized Gucci, causing quite a buzz and bringing to the iconic brand his sense of history and a love of accessories, particularly large antique rings. Called The New Romantic, he has received rave reviews for his wearable silhouettes and use of pattern and color. Most of all I think fashion followers are fascinated with the designer’s retro 1970s vibe, which feels so refreshing. I like the fact that he’s incorporated some of the old-school Gucci elements such as the red and green stripe and bamboo handle on the handbags.

Some say Mr. Michele will set the new overall flavor in fashion. At the very least, he’s one to have fun watching.

 

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Alessandro Michele for Gucci, spring 2016.

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Revised Cover - In the Name of GucciI just finished reading – In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir, by Patricia Gucci, (Crown Archetype, 2016).

Gucci is still around but do you remember the brand in its heyday? You might be conjuring up images of the iconic red and green stripe or the double G logo.

Gucci began in 1921 but by the 1950s it had become THE luxury fashion brand on everyone’s must-have list. The family-run business continued to soar in popularity around the world until 1989 when it was sold to Investcorp.

In her memoir, Patricia, the love child of Aldo Gucci and his mistress Bruna, shares for the first time the compelling and complicated story of her parents, the Gucci family, and the history of the status brand, which was the first Italian company to open retail shops in the U.S. prompting the Made In Italy phenomenon.

When Patricia was born in 1963, her father was middle-aged, the head of (and powerhouse behind) Gucci as well as a married man with three sons. Her mother was 32 years his junior and a former employee of the Gucci shop in Rome. The couple kept their relationship and their daughter a secret … for as long as they could.

Did I mention it’s complicated?

Well, it is and I tip my hat to Patricia and co-writer Wendy Holden for their excellent crafting. The authors successfully keep clear for the reader all the various elements to the  story, which begins in 1897 with Patricia’s grandfather. At 16 Guccio immigrated from his small Italian village to London to work as a page for the Savoy Hotel. After returning to Italy several years later Guccio opened a luggage shop in Florence, which was to eventually become the Gucci we think of today.

A man of impeccable taste, my grandfather hoped to create the kind of superior leather goods he’d been handling since he was a boy, only using cheaper hides enhanced by skilled dyeing and treating techniques. His own elegant designs based loosely on English tailoring and style were pieced together by Florentine craftsmen with their eye for detail. Each new item carried the first Gucci monogram – a tiny image of a young page in full livery and a cap carrying a suitcase in one hand and Gladstone bag in the other. It was my grandfather’s nod to his formative days.

There is so much to this memoir – a love affair, the rise and fall of a fashion brand, secrets and family betrayal. It’s an operatic story for sure but Patricia doesn’t take advantage of that; she simply tells it like it was. Although her affection for her father, who died in 1990, comes through she remains honest and does a nice job balancing her emotions.

Relationships can be tricky to navigate. Those we have with our parents can be the most complicated and often require compromises once we come to the realization that none of us live in a perfect world and that the people we love are flawed.

I enjoyed most reading about the history of the company and Patricia’s later involvement as a spokesperson, model, and board member. Indeed she was the first female board member in the company’s 90 year history. I am curious about who was designing for the brand during Aldo’s reign. Who for example came up with the Jackie O handbag?

It’s been thirty years since the sale of Gucci and 26 since Aldo died. Why a memoir now? Patricia was under a gag order for ten years after the sale but beyond that, she never really knew the whole story between her parents. Any time she asked her mother for details, she was shut down. Until 2009, when Bruna unexpectedly opened up and handed over a stack of Aldo’s love letters written while the couple were secretly courting. That was the beginning of In the Name of Gucci.

I became so captivated by this book that time flew by unnoticed. I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want it to end.

It can’t get any better than that.

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