The history of the Gucci brand is riddled with drama and abrupt transitions, and the brand’s runway shows are often nearly as dramatic. The past decades have presented two distinct approaches to luxury, one under the direction of Tom Ford and the other under Alessandro Michele. While the aesthetics of these two designers may be polar opposites, Gucci runways shows are always exciting.
For a decade from the mid-Nineties to the mid-Aughts, Tom Ford reigned as creative director for Gucci. His showmanship and aesthetic were evident in ten years of runways shows brimming with furs and silks, leather and velvet — for women and men. His final show was the Fall/Winter 2004 show in Milan. The models wore signature Ford style as they walked a rose-petal strewn runway.
Gucci saw several other creative directors in the year after Ford left the fashion house before landing upon Alessandro Michele in 2015. Reportedly, Michele had only ten days to pull together a Fall/Winter 2015 Menswear collection after the unexpected departure of the previous creative director. Whether or not these stories are true, the resulting collection was one that forever changed the course of Gucci’s brand. Gone were Tom Ford’s sleek, jet setter suits. Instead the show had a decidedly poetic aesthetic as the models walked the runway in lace, scarves, and berets.
That bookish, eccentric vibe continued through Michele’s Fall/Winter Women’s Collection that same year. In the shows that have followed, Gucci has doubled down on Alessandro Michele’s brand of off-beat luxury as shown in this year’s combined men’s and women’s Fall RTW collection.
Which Gucci do you prefer: the sleek styling of the Tom Ford years or the colorful and kooky vibe of more recent years? We personally love both styles but would love to hear from you in the comments!