Alessandro Michele's Women's Debut at Gucci Was Magic

by Mickey Boardman

At today's Gucci show, recently appointed creative director Alessandro Michele proved that the enthusiastic response he received for his first menswear collection last month wasn't a fluke. We haven't been this worked up over Gucci since the Tom Ford era --  although Michele's style is practically the polar opposite of Ford's exercises in sexed-up high fashion seduction. Michele's vision of Gucci is absolutely modern, chic and free in its fluidity -- men dressing like women, women dressing like men and people whose gender we, frankly, didn't recognize wearing separates that seem to break the stereotypical rules of apparel.

The first look -- a sheer top over a below-the-knee skirt was sexy and dowdy simultaneously. The second look was one of our favorites: a green leather man-cut pants suit paired with brown suede shoes with Gucci's signature gold equestrian bit and a serious lady's handbag with chain strap. And let's not forget the wild toupee shoe which was cruelty-free in a season that has seen far too much fur.

Model Molly Blair, one of the runway standouts of the season, perhaps best embodies this new Gucci identity: She's part tomboy, part glamazon, confident and sinewy. But it was the final look that was the exclamation point on the show -- the trouser equivalent of the boyfriend jean in candy-apple red paired with a ruffled blouse that brought to mind classic Saint Laurent in aubergine, accessorized with bold rings and a new take on the classic Gucci logo belt. The new Gucci woman means business.

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