Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t dream of cradling a baby dragon while they work? This morning, one Milan Fashion Week runway model got to tick that off her bucket list.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, aka fashion’s King of Quirk, is no stranger to shock-tactic styling, but the slightly disturbing props and staging at his Autumn/Winter 2018 runway show, named Cyborg, were so striking they deserve further explanation.
After all, in 20 years of observing fashion runway shows for a living, I’ve never witnessed models carrying lifelike replicas of their own severed heads on a runway that circled a faux operating theatre. Or a pretty woman showcasing a stunning pink tulle dress that’s dwarfed by the identical third eye embedded in the middle of her forehead.
GALLERY: Gucci’s Headless Norse-men
Less disturbing was a cute green chameleon (I’ll take one in each colour, please) and the red-striped coral snake that’s become an unofficial brand logo for Gucci of late, both safely carried from the start of its catwalk to end.
The show’s concept, according to Michele at a press conference afterwards, stemmed from a seriously intense 1984 essay by feminist philosopher Donna Haraway called A Cyborg Manifesto, which amongst other things disputes the concept of defined genders, and the relationship between man, machine and animals.
Given their realistic appearance, it’s no surprise the heads and creatures were created by a Rome-based cinematic special effects company. A team at Rome-based studio Makinarium worked for almost six months to bring them to life after being contacted by Michele himself.
“He’s a true artist, with a real passion, a fantasy so intense and inspiring it pushes you forward,” Makinarium’s owners said of the wildly talented and commercially genius Gucci designer.
While the meaning behind the under-arm heads can’t be summed up in a sentence from Haraway’s tome, one commentator called them a metaphor for carrying the spiritual burden of one’s own evolution and self-awareness. (Side note: do you think the models both got to take their own heads home? Or would they indeed want to?)
Deep stuff, but does it make you want to buy clothes? It certainly makes you look twice, which is one step closer to staring intently at the bags, shoes, clothes and bling.
My thought? I’m dying for this perfect tweed cape below (ideally worn with turban). I’d give my right arm, if not my head, for that.