The fashion world appears to be increasingly keen to shake off po-faced pretensions, most recently exemplified by this gloriously campy cinematic sci-fi romp from Gucci.
The Autumn Winter 2017 Campaign, Gucci and Beyond, is directed by Glen Luchford and art directed by Christopher Simmonds, the former creative director of Dazed and Confused. Gucci designer Alessandro Michele’s creations are brought to life through a series of outlandish scenarios affectionately borrowed from the classic sci-fi of yesteryear.
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Forbidden Planet and Ray Harryhausen’s Earth vs the Flying Saucers are the most obvious reference points, but there are also nods to One Million Years BC and TV shows like 1960s series Lost in Space and Space: 1999 from the 1970s, which lends the spot its theme music. We also feel the man at 0.57 with the Roxy Music-era Brian Eno hairdo deserves a special mention.
These visual and thematic cues are duly explored through a fuzzy, b-movie aesthetic; with the bold colours of Michele’s clothes accented by that ubiquitous orangey tone that all films made before 1980 seem to exude.
The ad is one move in a series of recent innovations from Gucci that suggests the house is looking to have a little bit of fun in its campaign work. In March this year it launched the #TFWGucci social campaign, in which Gucci worked with a number of artists to create images housed on Instagram based around the around the theme “#TFW [That Feeling When] Gucci”, lampooning the popular meme template.
These sort of campaigns – notably intended for a predominantly online audience – follow in the footsteps of brands like Kenzo, who’ve shown that fashion campaigns are becoming increasingly about engagement and humour rather than slick, serious glossiness. They also demonstrate more overt cinematic references coming to the fore: Kenzo’s Autumn Winter 2017 campaign film series by Natasha Lyonne shows models in clown makeup, referencing Federico Fellini’s La Strada.
The brand’s SS17 campaign was similarly innovative and bold, bringing in director Thomas Traum to create an “homage to rave culture and club lore” that married 1980s VHS footage of New York nightlife with shots from 90s European rave film Public Tranceport.