UPDATE, APRIL 15, 2021 EST: Contrary to popular belief, Gucci Aria is not a full-blown collaboration with Balenciaga, as rumored leading up to the highly anticipated short film’s release this morning. That said, though, Balenciaga designs do make an appearance on Alessandro Michele’s runway and, unsurprisingly, it’s epic. Per the brand, this decision was part of the creative director’s vision of a “hacking lab,” in which he experimented with incursions and contaminations on the runway. In other words, he swiped a selection of Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga designs to include in the luxury Italian fashion label’s centennial celebration. Models hit the catwalk in double-take-worthy garments embossed with both “Gucci” and “Balenciaga” logos.
In a press statement about the Gucci Aria collection, Michele said the following: “On this occasion, I want to honor my filial affection betraying the legacy handed down to me. Because the promise of a never-ending birth is only renewed through an evolving capacity. Crossing this threshold, I have plundered the nonconformist rigor of Demna Gvasalia and the sexual tension of Tom Ford; I have lingered over the anthropological implications of what shines, working on the brightness of fabrics; I have celebrated the equestrian world of Gucci transfiguring it into a fetish cosmogony; I have sublimated Marilyn Monroe’s silhouette and old Hollywood’s glamour; I sabotaged the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie and the codes of men’s tailoring.”
In addition to the Gucci Aria’s collection’s Balenciaga looks, the 15-minute film contains several nods to the House’s history. The video opens with a model entering The Savoy club, a tribute to the label’s founder Guccio Gucci, whose first job was working at the Savoy Hotel in London. This reference also works its way into the collection’s designs on helmets and jackets. As touched on by Michele in his statement, the Gucci Aria collection also includes a red velvet suit inspired by Tom Ford’s iconic number from Gucci’s Fall-Winter 1996 collection. For these references and more, watch the show in its entirety below.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 13, 2021 EST: Happening this Thursday, April 15, Gucci is unveiling creative director Alessandro Michele’s first collection of 2021, entitled Aria. The public can watch the short film on the company’s massively followed social networks as of 9 am EST. Per the luxury fashion label, the event will “be one of the House’s greatest milestone moments,” one that you certainly don’t want to miss, meant to celebrate the iconic Italian brand’s 100th anniversary with a bang.
Gucci hasn’t shared many details about the collection at the time of writing. But even so, one not-yet-confirmed bit of info is spreading across the internet like wildfire: fashion aficionados are convinced that Aria is a collaboration with Balenciaga and its creative director, Demna Gvasalia. The fashion house is a sister brand to Gucci under their parent company, Kering. Business of Fashion was the first to matter-of-factly report about the collab on Monday, April 12, noting that the rumor’s source stems from Italian market reports.
Last May, Michele announced his decision to go seasonless in favor of a new, non-traditional model. “I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call,” he wrote in an Instagram statement. “We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful, and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes, and communication platforms.”
Neither Gucci nor Balenciaga has confirmed the news at the time of writing, and per Women’s Wear Daily, both declined to comment. Check back as the story develops for more information.