23 April 2021 Posted By : Harper's BAZAAR U.K.

Gucci Celebrates 100 Years With The Collection That "Hacked" Balenciaga

Gucci is celebrating its 100 years in the business in style. The Italian fashion house put out its latest collection this week, Gucci Aria, where it celebrated the history of the label, partnered up with Balenciaga and harked back to some of the most famous Gucci moments in history.

"Going through the hour when everything originated is a great responsibility for me, and a joyful privilege," creative director Alessandro Michele explained in his show notes. "It means being able to open the locks of history and linger over the edge of the beginning... Gucci’s long history can’t be contained within a single inaugural act."

Michele explained that he looked to influences from the likes of Tom Ford (who headed up Gucci in the 1990s), and from Balenciaga's creative director Demna Gvasalia for the collection, who worked with him on several logo-heavy pieces.

"Gucci becomes for me a hacking lab, made of incursions and metamorphoses. I have plundered the non-conformist rigour 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."

Rather than a straightforward collaboration, Gucci describes itself as having "hacked" Balenciaga. Either way, the two major labels working together on this one-off collection will surely be retail gold, while Michele's recreation of one of Ford's most famous Gucci suits, which was worn on the red carpet by Gwyneth Paltrow, will also be a must-have in any fashionista's book.

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