The luxury house’s Fall Winter 2023 Men’s collection serves as the first
In November 2022 (or about three months ago, if you will), Alessandro Michele announced his departure from Gucci as the house’s Creative Director. The designer led Gucci’s aesthetic down the path of exuberant maximalism rooted in 70s glamor, all the while referencing the diverse archive the brand has amassed throughout the decades. Fast forward to the first show presented by post-Michele Gucci, the FW23 Men’s Collection also serves as the house’s first standalone menswear show in three years.
The loud, vibrant, eclectic version of maximalism is nowhere to be found, making way for a subdued, looser and pared-back aesthetic that takes cues from its roots. Instead, rooted in improvisation, Gucci’s creative team focused on the idea of making do or scouring a performer’s knowledge once they’re thrust into performing freestyle. “…The collection is a reflection of the individualities represented by the multi-faceted creatives and craftsmen who inhabit the house of Gucci;” the show notes indicate, “…who draw on diverse knowledge, skill and imagination in the creation of the bigger picture: The aesthetics of improvisation.”
Thanks to noise rockband Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dogs, the show starts with a slow rumble before building up to a crescendo. Their performance sets the tone and accompanies the progression of basics that slowly get incorporated into more expressive outfits.
Gucci is no stranger to the oversized silhouette, but the presentation leaned more towards extra slouchy tailoring and oversized trousers and denim. This Menswear collection features many of the incoming 2023 fashion trends, further cementing the fact that these are more likely to stay in fashion for a while. Motorsport dressing, one of the incoming trends for 2023, also make an appearance through motorcycle jackets and leather pants. Bottoms taper down and get tucked in boots while unruly curls get bunched under beanies, perhaps a nod to the slowly-popularizing return of the indie sleaze aesthetic. True to the theme of improvisation, the suits also feature detachable pieces to transform them into vests and shorts, a choice dependent on the wearer.
A new iteration of the house’s signature GG textile finds itself lacquered up for the Crystal GG patterns found in workwear suits, bags and even boots. Dipped in vibrant hues, romantic shades or signature brown, this provided the creative team a canvas for their visual freestyling. The idea of an individual choosing how to wear a specific piece dominates the collection, as seen in the different personalities that emerged onto the stage.
While Gucci’s AW23 Menswear collection visibly diverged from Michele’s bright and loud sensibilities, the pieces still have a hint of his rose-colored perspective. We see it in the romantic pastels and gleaming metallics, a subdued reminder of the disco-era wave he ushered into the brand. As Gucci awaits a new Creative Director, the menswear collection shows that the luxury house stands at a crossroads. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver