With all the fuss about Gucci’s clothing collection, it’s sometimes hard to remember that this is a label that’s really all about accessories – bags, hats, belts, even key fobs, and to a lesser extent, shoes. So what’s the story for AW16 on this front?
Sun, sun, sun
It may be autumn/winter but Gucci’s customers aren’t constrained by the weather. They may live in Qatar or just spend the winter in Barbados, so shades are a must. This season they’re generally big (although some slightly smaller sizes appear to be making a comeback). Glitter frames and challenging shapes are key, which means most of these are out of reach for me. I do like the idea of shades that match the colour of your clothes though.
If you want to get ahead….
The new season’s hats are all about simplicity classic shapes with colour the key feature. Or they’re the complete opposite with quirky embellishment that can work well with both casual or more formal looks. I can picture versions of some of these on more than a few high street accessories shelves already.
Gucci is above all a handbag company and creative chiefs mess with the ‘cash cow’ product category at their peril. Michele has added colour and pattern but kept the shapes essentially classic. The handbag-to-shoulderbag of choice comes in accordion style with the classic Gucci bamboo handle.
It’s surprising how small a category footwear is for Gucci (53% of sales last year were for leathergoods, 16% ready-to-wear and just 12% shoes). With those figures in mind, it’s no surprise that footwear wasn’t exactly a key part of this collection. What did stand out were the mega-platforms. Along with other designers this season, Michele has gone big on platforms but they’re likely to be lower when they actually appear in-store. Pattern effects and embellishment were also key.
Girl with a pearl everything
Whether it was pearl trims on a sweater, pearl embellished shoes, or extravagant jewellery. The pearl was a star statement. Combined with heirloom gems, pearls feel directional and not remotely conservative.