Gucci presented their eerily mystical and jaw dropping collection yesterday o The new Gucci fall/winter collection has caused startled reactions from all around with its – frankly, Gucci-ness.The show had all of the best of Gucci that can be seen in a collection, from sneakers that you wish you could pull off to the insane fabric combinations, plus some truely great things, and some more questionable.
I should begin by saying, yes they did have human heads, a baby dragon and reptiles. The show also had some material that looked like traditional outfits from cultures. Cultures that, today don’t reap the benefits of the cache associated with a Gucci show. Cultures that fight for their individuality even if it is vastly looked down upon by the west.
Gucci introduced the outlined balaclava (a signal to a face covering perhaps?), though they were also in Calvin Klein’s collection which could suggest a new trend of acceptable ways to cover your face, though not in modesty.
In the Gucci show we see Alessandro Michele’s crazy flair for design manifest in the unquestioned and acceptable forms of cultural appropriation with the use of turbans and headscarfs, fashion emerging from old cultures. Discrimination faced by people of colour is real and I believe anything to alleviate the pressure of a race to be a certain way or to decrease stigma between cultures is a great thing. However, the cost of doing this through fashion with a little attempt at introducing people of the specified cultural group into the project to increase inclusivity may be a problem because the illusion of inclusion is present without the intention. By this I mean the acceptability for someone to wear a turban is increased ten fold but not because people in a western context have become more acceptable to difference but because we have incorporated that into our white culture – appropriated it if you will.
I think brands with power to influence how people spend their money and choose to look have a power to also change how people think and in that way can influence how culture develops. We see the change in trends through decades, whether trends reinvent themselves in a cyclical nature or they emerge from an avenue outside of mainstream fashion.
The adaptation of styles is not at all the problem here, the issue emerges when there is insignificant recognition that the only reason these trends are now acceptable is due to the it being whitened and accepted as part of white culture.
Perhaps a movement towards accepting difference in culture should be broached without finding a way to associate with part of the culture in a way that isn’t genuine.