Ever since Alessandro Michele’s first Gucci collection I’ve been in love with everything he produces. After years of ‘normcore’ and minimalist fashion, he is clothing us in lush abundance drawn from an array of artistic influences including nineteenth century orientalism, the Pre-Raphaelites and the wonderful still life paintings of the Dutch school of the seventeenth to eighteenth century. Recently I spied one of his pink gold pleated lurex dresses with fur-trimmed sleeves at an event in London. The lucky lady wearing it literally outshone the whole room. It is not hard to see why these clothes sell so well and retailers struggle to acquire enough stock. If you’ve been frustrated, make sure you are ready for Net-a-porter’s Gucci capsule collection of 20 items from phone cases to evening gowns that will launch on 12 May. Previews of the blousy cabbage roses prints drawn from English chintzes look as hotly desirable as all Michele’s previous work.
Either by accident or design, London’s National Gallery is currently devoting its Gallery 1 to a Gucci-esque show of some truly gorgeous Dutch school paintings. They also have a programme of related events including watercolour and flower-arranging workshops for the creative and some fascinating-sounding lectures on tulip-mania and the language of flower-painting for the curious.
If you are in London and, like me have been inspired and enchanted by Michele’s Gucci, then do not miss this. The works by the appropriately-named Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, Jan van Huysum and Rachel Ruysch are truly a visual feast. Just don’t wear your Gucci to go there – you might fall under suspicion of trying to smuggle out one of the precious canvases themselves.