Gucci has presented its Aria campaign and its one that properly celebrates the brand’s centennial year. Following Gucci’s Balenciaga-hacked Aria collection, Alessandro Michele has looked to re-showcase the collection this month through a completely different and edgy approach: a hazy, erotic film — which even has an 18+ advisory. Gucci has taken inspiration from Greek mythology to set the tone for its crystal-laden suits, monogram-clashing cuts and equestrian-themed headgear.
Thematically, the campaign is inspired by Eros, the Greek God of Love and a term that denotes sensual love. The film features many nods to Gucci’s storied history. In particular, the setting pays homage to the Savoy Hotel, where Guccio Gucci worked as a lift boy in his youth. The hotel was a popular spot for politicians and celebrities that visited London, and it was there where he observed and learned the styles of the upper-crust of society. Their clothing, jewellery, manners and habits, and from there he founded the house of Gucci in 1921.
The cast was carefully handpicked by Alessandro Michele, as the creative director of the campaign. Legendary American model Kristen McMenamy and Italian Eurovision contest winners, Måneskin masterfully portrayed roles as mysterious hotel residents. The musicians were also sporting pieces from the house’s Fall Winter 2021 collection. Each look in the collection has an underlining aesthetic that connects mind and body. Following a narrative called the “Ontology of Desire”. It is broken down into five parts: Androgyny, Eros, Body, Clothes, and Philosophy.
“Androgyny”, the first part, talks about the evolution of mankind theorising that every human being was originally an androgynous creature. The creatures were split in half by Zeus and have since been wandering the earth in search of a lost half. “Eros”, on the other hand, posits that the essence of desire is what drives humans to mend the separation of the halves. The “Body” is referred to as “reserves of erotic power” that liberates into transformative energy. It is in this skin on which Eros has built its temple. “Clothes” is defined as the skin we live in — an identity artefact, but also an epidermic prosthesis that catapults us in the erotic game of life. And lastly, “Philosophy” dictates our relationship our erotic relationship with the world that is defined by everything.
In a world where everything is defined by how we touch, feel, and know, Gucci is offering more than just a runway show for its 100th anniversary.