"It's all Gucci". Meditate on that popular catch phrase for a moment as a potential guideline for updating your Fall Wardrobe.
Designers Alessandro Michele and Dapper Dan's spectacular re-do of the 97 year-old Italian brand founded in 1921 conjured up a spell, transforming Gucci into the number one selling luxury brand in the world valued at $12.4 billion dollars ranking it as the world’s 28th most valuable luxury apparel business by Forbes. The magic of Gucci lies in the designers combined aesthetic of art-school-cool meets the old-school of hip-hop whipped up by expert Milanese tailors; a cross-cultural crucible bestowing Gucci with 360-degree street cred on top of its unimpeachable fashion heritage.
This seemingly strange brew defines the current moment in fashion. Why? Because Gucci's freewheeling brand of hot nerd, think headbands chunky heels and horn rim glasses, meets sexy logo heavy money dripping street swagger works equally well on a rapper or a rich European countess. The allure of both of these worlds is being eccentric enough, rich enough and rebellious enough to break all the rules so you can live by your own rules. Then, of course, everyone else will follow your lead.
According to the Urban Dictionary, "It's all Gucci" popped in the vernacular as a play off of the phrase "It's all good". "Gucci" and "Good" are two similar sounding words that have become interchangeable. Gucci's Collection is a giddy riot of brocade, roaring tiger prints, studded with bejeweled bumble bees and faux diamonds and pearls slung across pair of every pair of shoes sunglasses and embedded into handbags as though all of the merchandise had all been run over by a Mardi Gras float at 90 miles an hour. It's a gorgeous chaos that puts me in touch with the pure joy of fashion. The message behind it, I think, can best be summed up in the lyrics from the 1974 disco hit by BT Express " Whatever it is - Go on and do it! Do it til you're satisfied!" And it will cost you a pretty penny to get your rocks off at Gucci -but the journey is a lot of fun.
I slipped into my favorite jeans and denim shirt and marched down 5th Avenue, on a quest for accessories to update my go-to outfit for fall. It was an adventure to make my way through the ever present police barricades and permanent SWAT team guarding the entrance to Trump Tower, where Donald Trump lives next door to Gucci’s flagship store in New York. Gucci’s four floor boutique is an amazing piece of theater. Everywhere you look there's something displayed against rich red or chartreuse silk velvet cases lit by marquee bulbs. Sales staff at Gucci is well chosen, they're totally down to earth and welcoming to people from every walk of life.
I was impressed by the diverse clientele in the store, ladies who lunch, tubby tourists, art school types, hoodrats and Eurotrash slightly reeking of rosé post-lunch and pre-cocktail hour, The balance of customers being urban professionals looking to zing their work-a-day look with some Gucci fairy dust. I headed to women's accessories on the 2nd floor. Just like I have a go-to denim-on-denim obsession, I always go for sneakers, a bag, big earrings and an ornate pair of heels that make an outfit a fashion look in a flash. Miriam, my salesperson (I assure you she had no idea I have a background as a supermodel or that I was blogging about my adventure) was super kind and passionate about fashion. Like a bee to a brightly colored flower bubble gum pink and candy apple red were the two colors I was most drawn to displayed in Gucci's fall '18 collection. I spent a good hour and a half trying classic Gucci pieces and crazy funky pieces.
Before I embarked on my Gucci trek, my 15 year old who's totally fluent in fashion history and current trends - even though she's strictly an LL Bean, preppy type of dresser, told me "Mom, look out for the big Gucci bow and let that guide you." I didn't believe her at first because I'm not one to wear bows - unless I'm lacing my sneakers. "Mom, channel Gossip Girl". My kid said, referring to the 90’s tv show, had given me verbal permission to step outside of my normal fashion game and play a little harder at having fun with fashion. When I asked my sales person for the bow, she wasn't convinced - until she pinned it my collar and my whole outfit, as well as both of our faces, lit up.
The $510 blue and red striped grosgrain bow with a faux diamond and pearl medallion was a little enchantment that made plain denim jeans and shirt look instantly fresh crisp and fun. It's the whole reason to go somewhere like Gucci in the first place, to find that one thing that rocks your wardrobes world. Ok, $510 for a bow ? I know what you’re thinking - you can get a knock off right? Yes, you could, but the difference between designer clothes is the fabrics and the precise proportion. High quality fabrics elevate everything you’re wearing and they move beautifully on the body, you are also paying for the hours upon hours it took for the designer to come up with the idea and for the pure escapist experience of shopping in a superbly decorated and curated space.
Pink kitten heel shoes with bumble bee toe clips, aptly named “The Queen Margaret” tickled my fancy. Comfy as slippers and, style-wise, strong enough to headline any outfit, they went for a King's ransom of $1,150. The ironically ugly dad sneakers with monstrously thick soles that are ruling street style now are seriously growing on me. I like an elegant silhouette in a shoe. Gucci has a version of the monster sole sneaker that are really cute for $1,590. Between the emerald cut Swarovski crystal straps naturally adorning the tennis shoes added to the already hefty that made each one feel like it weighed about 2 lbs. For the moment fate had saved me from myself - the monster sole sneakers are sold-out that day. The Falacer candy apple red patent leather red low tech sneaker captivated my footwear dreams at a mere $980.00, a relative bargain in the Gucci universe.
Channeling my inner Elton John as seen through the lens of Dapper Dan, I threw on the black rhinestone rims. I took Gucci’s cushy velvet turban for a whirl. It’s more like a crown fit for renaissance royalty than a turban per se. Neither the glasses or the turban was exactly me, at least not right now - it’s future/past me when I was or will be beyond caring about my face. Like in high school when I wore outrageous everything and when I’ll eventually reach the stage later on in life when hats and glasses will become the replacement for hair and makeup. I’ll revisit those another time. The sway of fashion is strong on my senses so maybe I’ll revisit those pieces sooner rather than later...
Did you get the memo? Fashion says, big chunky crystal earrings are “it” for daytime. Gucci did not disappoint. Lion heads with gaping jaws made the perfect setting for earrings fashioned from a cascade of crystals that just touched my shoulders. Lightweight and wearable, what made them great was how much light the earrings reflected onto my face. The three most important things when dressing for dinner are the neckline of a woman’s ensemble, the details on the sleeves and, of course, earrings. The earrings were gorgeous, at $1,490 for costume jewelry, beautiful as they may be I was thinking I could also hire my own lighting person to go with me to every outing for the next couple of months for the same price. The earrings would be a lot more fun to have though.
My wish list:
The Bow Brooch $510
Falacer Sneakers $980
Red Velvet Shoulder Bag $1,590
Sugar Pink Queen Margaret Shoes $1,150
Drop Crystal Earrings $1,490
All in all, my Gucci dressing room dreams (should they come true) would cost about $5,722 before tax. Until then...Here’s to us all making some Gucci money to play with for the rest of 2018. Happy Dressing Rooms Dreams Everybody.
Write and let me know what your dressing room dream store would be or the dream trend you want to explore so WOTF can at least make your story wishes come true.
Story x @VeronicaWebb
Photos x @Marc_Cornwall
Hair x @AndreaWilson
Special Thanks to the Staff at Gucci