Gucci designer Alessandro Michele didn’t invent the maximalist, rich-eccentric look, but he’s certainly the biggest proponent of it right now. With his aesthetic taking hold everywhere from the high end to the high street, it’s hard to believe the designer has only been at his post since last year. And he’s not backing off his agenda. At today’s show, which kicked off Milan Fashion Week, Michele went full throttle in the direction of the delightfully weird. That meant that models stalked through his smoky, purple-hued disco-style set wearing fanciful hats, including one that resembled a jellyfish. And wavelets of tinsel-like fringe. And pineapple epaulets. Yes, pineapple epaulets. Take a moment with that if you need one.
The most interesting motifs were the tarot-card-like drawings, a collaboration with artist Jayde Fish. Michele hinted at them pre-show with an illustrated invite bearing eye prints, and they injected a dash of mysticism into his bubbling-over cauldron of quirkiness. The designer has a way of making maximalism seem appealing even to those currently clinging to their neutral-hued knits. And since his vision has a way of trickling down, expect this collection to have impact beyond the Gucci customer. Yes, the orange pouf might be best on a street-style star, but even if you’re not an aspiring Iris Apfel, you might be tempted to wear dancing zebras on your orange coat, or start carrying a fan, or, more realistically, just incorporate a print or a ruffle now and then. Tell them Alessandro made you do it.