Modern Future


MILAN, JUNE 20, 2016

The notion of travel is emerging as something of a fixation for the Spring 2017 menswear season. Maybe it’s the current state of endless fashion flux, caused by the stretch of the peripatetic Resort collections. The latest Gucci collection, then, was about the dream of travel rather than its actuality. “You can travel in different ways,” mused Michele. “With a book, you can travel. If I change the tapestry of my chair, I sit and I travel.” Presumably that also applies to your clothing; change into a jacket scrolled with Asiatic embroideries, with dragons or tigers or even Disney characters, and you’re dressed in a different place. Or maybe a different time. The 13th-century travelogue of Marco Polo, Il Milione, was a reference Michele threw out backstage. The veracity of Polo’s travels to Cathay and Manji, now comprising China, have been much challenged, his visions credited to the fabulosity of his imagination rather than the accuracy of his reporting. Michele can be accused of the same, which is no matter. The fabulosity of Michele’s clothes, scrambling place and time, can be seen as his own imaginary travelogue, a fantasy of the foreign, colliding cultures, mixing references, and creating a hybrid that speaks of the here and now. That’s an interesting notion. Michele emblazoned clothes with the slogan Modern Future. Which was ironic, given the retrospective slant constantly evident in his designs.