Leave it to Gucci and artistic director Alessandro Michele to orchestrate a cruise 2023 runway show — that’s appropriately called Gucci Cosmogonie — at the timing of the Super Flower Blood Moon. The lunar eclipse phenomenon saw the moon turning red just as the finale of Gucci’s fashion show commenced within the grounds of the Castel del Monte. In fact, the livestream of Gucci Cosmogonie ended with a shot of the moon in its full, bloodied glory.
While it’s not farfetched at all to expect a Michele for Gucci collection themed around cosmogony to include extraterrestrial elements (to be honest, I was hoping to see alien-esque prosthetics à la the house’s autumn/winter 2017 campaign), the Gucci Cosmogonie collection took on a more abstract approach. The diverse and at times disparate elements that have become a signature of Gucci, remained. But at the same time, the collection felt concise and more focused in its ideas.
In the collection notes, Michele talks about Walter Benjamin — a German Jewish philosopher who escaped Nazi Germany but took his own life in 1940 after being stripped of the agency over his own thoughts by the Gestapo. Michele refers to Benjamin as a “collector of quotations” and one who illuminated ideas and theories that would have been left in the dark had he not connected them together in his essays.
“It’s not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation,” Benjamin once wrote. In essence, it’s the idea that the relationship between history and the present is non-linear; that the possibilities are pretty much endless.
It seems like Michele is exploring the multiverse, doesn’t it?
What resulted from that philosophical train of thought was a cruise 2023 collection that traversed time and space, with different historical dress references coming together with more modern elements. 16th-century ruffs in various iterations adorned collars and sleeves of contemporary dresses and outerwear, elongated point collars disrupted the rigidity of structure tailoring, and gladiator sandals added doses of punk attitude to flirty numbers.
Geometry was no doubt the star of the collection. It was apparent in the ready-to-wear as well as the Gucci Cosmogonie bags decorated with geometric patterns ranging from monochromatic treatments to the more ostentatious as seen in look 90’s faux fur coat. There was a sense of the psychedelic 1970s but cleverly pared back such that nothing felt overpowering as a collection.
The closing look was a stunner: a deep blue velvet gown that was a direct interpretation of the cosmogony theme. It was thoroughly embellished to form mini constellations and styled with a ruff that was topped off with rows of pearls wrapped around the neck. It was excessive, perhaps, but signature Michele. And a look we’d probably see on the red carpet pretty soon.
View the full Gucci Cosmogonie collection in the gallery below.