Never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before
Fashion’s rumour mill went into overdrive this week when murmurings of an alleged Gucci and Balenciaga collaboration began to surface. Until now, neither brand had confirmed (or denied) the news. All we knew was that it might have something to do with today’s Gucci’s show – Aria – which promised to be “one of the house’s greatest milestone moments,” according to the invite.
We weren’t disappointed. The behemoth cross pollination gave us Balenciaga’s ferocious silhouettes executed with all of Gucci’s usual bedazzling treatments and trimmings. Think square shouldered shapes and crystal-encrusted hourglass suits, dual-logo emblazoned oversized outerwear, and hybridised accessories in Balenciaga’s angular styles blasted with Gucci’s iconic motif. But don’t call this a collaboration: think of it as an Alessandro Michele ‘hack’.
In the year of 2021, Gucci’s 100 year anniversary, there were good reasons to believe that the Kering-owned labels would link up. Neither are strangers to a stonking collaboration (think Gucci X The North Face or Balenciaga X Crocs) and both designers have ditched the traditional fashion show format and gone rogue this year. Balenciaga’s AW21 collection was shown via video-game and Gucci has abandoned the seasonal calendar altogether.
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This has, quite literally, never been done before. Balucci marks the first time that two houses of megalith status have even acknowledged each other’s existence, let alone joined forces. Of course, Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix collabed back in 2019 and Miuccia Prada obvs brought Raf Simons into the fold at Prada last year as co-creative director. But it’s just not the same.
Needless to say, the fashion world has spent the last week conspiracising and conflating. How would Demna’s subcultural gags translate to the kitsch mythology of Alessandro? Would Harry Styles be sent out in full Rammstein garb? Would it actually just be an NFT?
Click through the gallery to get a glimpse of the landmark collection for yourself and stay tuned for our full breakdown of the show.