ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2017 - Issue 4 - Fall - LauraLinney

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 130 of 171

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF GUCCI (PAGE BORDER); BY VENTURELLI/GETTY IMAGES FOR GUCCI (BORGHI); NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES (JOHNSON); DAVID LEWIS TAYLOR (DÉCOR STILL LIFE). OPPOSITE PAGE: COURTESY OF GUCCI Alessandro Michele's assertive trademarks aren't limited to Gucci's sturdy- heeled shoes or jackets with expertly cut sleeves. The brand recently unveiled Gucci Décor, a collection of items designed to adorn living rooms and dressing tables while sharing the vibrancy that has come to distinguish his wearable pieces. "He loves abundance," says Neiman Marcus's Ken Downing. "[He has an] ability to create this romantic, effusive abundance that captures the imagination and draws you in." That extravagant sensibility lends itself especially well to décor; it's easy to imagine a single statement piece accenting an otherwise understated room. The collection includes orna- mental pillows, trays, richly lacquered chairs with embroidered cushions, and small tables, all made in Italy. It features many of Michele's bold signatures: embroi- dered images of animals, such as slithering serpents or roaring lions; the use of rich velvet; and a vivid palette that includes colors immuta- bly associated with Gucci's heritage, like crimson red and bright green. Among the line's standouts are the deeply scented candles encased in decora- tive porcelain vessels (which are designed to be keep- sakes long after the fragrant wax has burned off). The elegant containers are made by Richard Ginori, a centu- ries-old producer of china, founded, like Gucci, in Florence. Ginori is, not coincidentally, owned by the same parent company, and for the last few years Michele has overseen that brand's creative direction in addition to his duties at Gucci. 900 North Michigan Shops, 312- 664-5504; press and shoppers, who responded viscer- ally to his spunky retro-inspired prints, his elegant draping, and a broad color palette that included brights, neutrals, and muted shades of mustard, olive, and maroon. Unlike some fine fashion pieces that evoke an emotional reaction in their buyers, Michele's items are of-the-moment but don't feel as if they'll go out of style next season, plus they sell for a price that's admittedly high but less astronomical than other brands. "Alessandro doesn't create fashion for the sake of a trend; he creates collectibles," says Downing. "In general terms, of all of the brands that hang in the luxury spectrum, it is a lot of look for the money you're spending. That puts a lot of joy in the customer's heart." In his handful of seasons as creative direc- tor, Michele has offered new iterations of some of the designs that have most reso- nated with Gucci's fans, from boldly printed dresses and separates to white leather sneakers covered with serpents or bright crimson flowers. "I love the fact that he is evolving and developing rather than start- ing fresh every season," says Net-a-Porter's Aiken. "That gives women the sense of 'Actually, I'm going to purchase this; it is an investment, it has longevity, it's going to feel relevant for seasons to come because he isn't radicalizing every season with some- thing new.'" She adds, "I think he's being very smart." . In good company (from above): Actor Alessandro Borghi, photographer Ryan McGinley, artist Trevor Andrew (who collaborated on last year's GucciGhost capsule collection), musician Olly Alexander, actor Jared Leto, and Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri attend the house's Spring/Summer 2017 show during Milan's Men's Fashion Week; Michele accompanied (and dressed) actress Dakota Johnson, one of the faces of the Gucci Bloom campaign, to this year's Met Gala in New York City. INSIDE JOB MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM  129

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