“Is this heaven? Or is this Hollywood?” asked a fashion executive to the hip hop producer sitting next to them in the front row of monogrammed GG director chairs.
After the long fashion-glamor-fun-hedonism drought of 2020, leave it to Gucci to bring it all back and then some at their Hollywood Boulevard blowout runway spectacular Gucci Love Parade resort 2021-2022 fashion show. It was also in celebration of the House of Gucci’s 100th anniversary. Who needs Milan? To hell with New York! This was truly a fashion hooray for Hollywood, with iconic, nostalgic Hollywood looks and the big stars of the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s all wrapped up in a big green, red and tan GG bow. And if you looked closely, you could even spot some ’80’s and 90’s.
As a pastiche, it was a love letter to Old Hollywood and a collection that works for now and the future. Pastel furs, satin gowns, natty 70’s suits, sky high platforms –if we don’t see some of these looks on the red carpet, well, knock us down with a Jackie bag. The Billie Eilish look was also front and center: Gucci platinum shag hair tunic suits on the runway looked happier –and chicer– than ever. There was even an ode to Boris Johnson’s razor wrecked blond locks on some of the male models and female ones, too.
The Hollywood “icon-ization” of the clothes was clear: cowboy hats, diamond tiaras, feathered gowns, flying fur and Crayola cinematic colors like teal, hot pink, peach, hot pink and gold were shown throughout. Along with the celebrity models and requisite tall skinny girls and boys, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele added lots of plus size models to the mix.
“I think with fashion, you have a duty to give a voice,” he said at a short press conference after the show. “I see beauty everywhere. It’s something which is organic and natural.”
He said the Hollywood Boulevard showing reflected his “uncurbed love for the classic world. It’s a bit like home.” On the seats’ program notes, Michele added an ode, calling it “Nine Letters Dripping With Desire” (H – O – L … you get the picture).
“Mum worked in the film industry as an assistant in a production company,” he wrote. “I remember all the stories she told me, the details and the sparkles, about the dream factor.” He sited Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake and Rock Hudson as influences.
And speaking of red carpet: the Gucci runway spanning a mile in front of the Chinese theater, replete with requisite klieg and neon lights, as well as the El Capitan flashing marquis (“GUCCI LOVE PARADE”), had GG-friendly stars doing double duty as models.
Jared Leto (a longstanding member of the Gucci tribe and a star of the upcoming film ‘House of Gucci,” out in a few weeks), Macauley Culkin, St. Vincent, Miranda July, Phoebe Bridgers, Jodie Turner-Smith and more walked the show as well as Naomi Campbell and Shalom Harlow ever did –and on a much longer GG chair lined runway. Cheering them on: the most Hollywood heavy fashion show since – well, since nothing.
“Every house has to outdo the last,” noted one celebrity stylist, referring to how the Hollywood quotient gets upped by each designer’s L.A. runway. “The last Tom Ford show before the pandemic had Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez, Anna Wintour, Miley Cyrus – Gucci was not going to be outdone by Tom Ford!” (Ford designed Gucci throughout the nineties).
Billie Eilish, wearing matching Gucci GG tunic and loose pants, was queen of the night in a pink jeweled headpiece. Diane Keaton did Diane Keaton via Gucci with matching bowler. “House of Gucci” director Ridley Scott brought his glamorous Italian wife. “Normal People’s” Paul Mezcal, Natasha Lyonne, Serena Williams, Sienna Miller, Tyler the Creator, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, James Corden, Lizzo, Lindsay Vonn, Tracee Ellis Ross and Gucci girl herself Dakota Johnson were among the famous faces in soon to be famous outfits in the well turned out throng.
And of course, House of Gucci’s mother herself, Salma Hayek in a short sequin number, greeted her Hollywood friends with Kering Group CEO husband of twelve years, Francois-Henri Pinault. His company owns many of fashion’s biggest brands: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta, to name a few. In the last decade, they’ve all proven to be at the top of their game.
Jennifer Tilly sported a vintage (a.k.a. a few years old) peach lace embroidered Gucci gown with a train – trying all night to not get stepped on and failing miserably – but happily.
“Gucci encouraged the celebs attending to wear recycled Gucci,” Tilly told Los Angeles. ‘They definitely wanted to see sustainability in the crowd.” To wit, Gwyneth Paltrow recycled her famed Gucci red velvet MTV awards show pantsuit designed by Tom Ford from his Gucci fall 1996 collection. Except this one was a Michele Hollywood remake that he recreated for the house’s April 100th anniversary show in Milan.
And what would an international fashion party be without out of town fashion journalists Cathy Horyn (New York Magazine), Elle Magazine editor in chief Nina Garcia, YouTube’s Derek Blassberg and author/journalist Teri Agins? Who knew fashion critics could dance? (Seems Agins did.)
None other than Mark Ronson DJ-ed the after-party not just around the pool of the Hollywood Roosevelt, but on top of it. Watching Billie Eilish get down with her girlfriends was only one of the star sightings hitting the floor. When did a fashion after-party feature this much fun and looseness. It was a palatable lack of celebrity self-consciousness. As far as the food: the tator tots with caviar, little pizzas, baby avocado toasts and a cup of pesto risotto went down pretty well after all that champagne.