Kubrick on the catwalk. The new Exquisite by Gucci

The Gucci Exquisite campaign (photos Mert and Marcus)

The Gucci house pays tribute to Stanley Kubrick with a new collection of clothes, designed by Alessandro Michele in an eclectic combination of film and fashion

It is the fascinating film production of the great director Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) to inspire Exquisitethe new autumn winter 2022/2023 campaign by Gucciphotographed by Mert & Marcus. A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lindon, Eyes Wide Shut, A Space Odyssey, The Shining: some cult fragments of these well-known films have been revisited by the creative director of the maison, Alessandro Michele, with the insertion of magnificent Haute Couture dresses, which however yearn for mass use. In an era in which everything that is hybridized and mixed media is inevitably sexy, the graft, signed by Gucci, between fashion, photography and seventh art, could only hit the mark.

The objectives of Exquisite are many; first of all mix luxury and everyday life: “In the selected sequences it is as if Nietzsche, Kant and Freud were in dialogue with the street. The biggest questions about the meaning of life become pop images. Complex transfigurations on the level of meaning are transformed into immediate accesses on the level of experience”, Comments Michele. Underlining with emotion the participation in the campaign of Milena Canonero, who helped the Maison in the reconstruction of some scenes. The Italian costume designer, winner of four Oscars for the best costumes, got her first prize in 1976, just for Barry Lindon.

Vision diviner

Everything becomes an iconic image, symbolically refined, but capable of settling within a decidedly popular culture. I chose Kubrick for this too. What he produced is part of the collective imagination”Continues Michele. “His being a vision diviner has made his works as recognizable as the Sistine Chapel, the Virgin of the Rocks or the Simpsons. Manipulating the images by relaunching them within an unprecedented semantic framework takes on the same meaning that a hacking of the Mona Lisa can have. With the addition of the inspiration and empathic involvement that only the machine of cinematographic fiction can produce“.

Kubrik’s skill, philosopher filmmakerin the words of the director of the Maison, lies in his “experimental charge that surpasses all possible categorizations. Each film condenses, multiple souls: the dystopian fits into the parody, the drama becomes human comedy, the horror takes on the appearance of a psychophilosophical treatise, the feeling of truth flows into the uncanny“. And, if the American director was able to draw subtle emotional paradoxes and oblique perceptual shifts from reality, Gucci reveals that he has looked a lot at filmic art for his production: “I have always thought of my collections as films capable of restoring a cinematography of the present: a score of stories, eclectic and dissonant, capable of sacralizing the human and its metamorphic capacity“.

The Gucci Exquisite campaign (photos Mert and Marcus)
The Gucci Exquisite campaign (photos Mert and Marcus)

Seductive short-circuits

Following his creative practice, Michele explains that he has appropriated films to re-semantize them and populate them with his clothes, in a successful attempt to create seductive short-circuits. The dress designed by Laura Whitcomb, with which Madonna plowed the New York scene in the 90s, fits into the gothic scenes of The Shining, where the Adidas dress, which had already lost its status as a sports object to become a Victorian costume , becomes the new protagonist in the screenplay by Barry Lyndon. The dreamlike-delirious atmosphere of Eyes Wide Shut, among elegant masks that are not very reassuring, welcomes a Venus in fur, wearing precious bourgeois pearls.

And so on. A pair of shoes from the 90s with a fetish flavor makes an explosive entry into A Clockwork Orange. While an evening dress, one of the most dreamy, among infinite tulle ruffles, bursts into the “aseptic and dystopian” environment of Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A playful and at the same time precious operation, that of Gucci, which bypassing the elite confines of high fashion wants to show itself as pop, but does so through the refinement of a visionary director. “In this situationist game, historical plans, references and experiences are mixed. The past explodes into the present. Everything can become something else. Like in that famous scene from Kubrick’s masterpiece where the bone turns into a spaceship. As in life“.

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Kubrick on the catwalk. The new Exquisite by Gucci – ArtsLife campaign