Looking Back at “That 70’s Fashion Show”
It’s exactly one month past the fashion show I’ve been envisioning the past five months – That 70‘s (FASHION) Show inspired by Gucci S/S 2016. I spent the next few days returning clothing from the show, organizing the pre-show choas left in the wake of Shannon and I’s marathon styling session and back-to-back closet consults with new and old clients.
With pent-up anticipation and anxiety, I began packing for New Jersey to meet my mom for a long overdue across the pond visit with Brenda Downie, my host mum from my glory days during my semester abroad in London.
I woke up this morning with visions of Portabello Market, fireside chats with Brenda and the repetitive “Mind the Gap” complete with British accent running through my mind before my body sent me a jarring message: It’s time to BREATHE. Relax. And start taking care of myself again.
After a few paralyzing hours wondering if I would be able to move my back properly again, I am now seated (in far less pain) across the aisle from my mom 35,000 feet in the air en route to my happy place.
To me, London style (think Camden Market) represents some of the same devil may care spirit I instantly had an emotional response to in seeing the new Gucci (spearheaded by Creative Director Alessandro Michele) for the first time.
Legend has it, five days before the FW15 menswear show, Gucci predecessor Frida Giannini suddenly exited the iconic Italian house leaving an unexpected opening for Alessandro, who spent 13 years working behind the scenes. Gucci went from Giannini and Tom Ford’s highly sexualized, decadent ethos to an eclectic, romantic, androgynous and wonderfully surprising transformation – but all while still incorporating Gucci’s history: equestrian horsebit, signature stripes and of course, the interlocking G’s, which may be cooler now than they’ve ever been.
In the new issue of Porter magazine, writer Kay Barron says, “The new Gucci is warm and nostalgic, feeling both comfortably familiar and at the same time, completely original (with a) 1970’s meets Wes Anderson (vibe).”
No wonder I love it so!
Caroline de Maigret can keep the cooler-than-thou French girl chic. And the reigning refined, minimalist aesthetic ushered in by Phoebe Philo at Celine in 2009? You can have it, along with stark white walls and perfectly curated Instagram photos.
I can appreciate the beautiful simplicity of an incredibly made garment with clean lines and as a style chameleon and vintage collector, I admit I sometimes crave a more modern silhouette.
However, I always seem to feel most at home – most like my true authentic self – in something with a hint of romance, fantasy, whimsy and a touch of the imperfect – much like Alessandro’s new Gucci.
Singer Florence Welch, who has also fallen under Alessandro’s bewitching sartorial spell says, “He is dream weaving, but it works in reality. He knows what we want to wear long before we do.”
In the days following That 70’s (FASHION) Show, I received a Facebook message from Adrienne Carey, who recently moved back to Wilmington from NYC and attended the show.
“I give you a lot of credit for pushing the envelope on trends in town!”
Entrepreneurial artist Amelia Hutchins shared that she was “surprised and impressed” that Shannon and I were able to capture the spirit of the “new” Gucci (via creative styling) featuring current offerings from only local boutiques.
Indeed, there were guests who arrived in 70’s costume party attire, missing the new-ness behind the show’s inspiration. But no matter, for we all connected over a shared enthusiasm for creative expression, romance and fantasy through fashion.
Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Simply Noelle, Hannah and her talented hair & makeup team at Beauty Bar, our wonderful local boutiques who embraced and supported this concept-based show, Legare of A Ribbon Runs Through It for creating a stunning Gucci backdrop for our runway, Shannon Dunne for bringing it at our marathon creative styling session, my love Joel for having to put up with hearing the word“Gucci” way more times than he’d like, Tommy Mills of Little Pond Catering for his 70’s inspired cuisine (corn dogs and gummy bears included!), One Hope Wine, Charleston’s craft soda company Cannonborough Beverage Company, Kristen Martinez for her beautiful illustration inspired by our fashion show art work (for sale now via Style Girl Vintage), 70‘s mix tape by DJ Brian Hood, backstage directors Tym and Amy Hammond along with our volunteer angels and Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography for such gorgeous images to help remember this special labor-of-love event.
More updates from London Town next week.
And remember – live playfully, authentic and free!
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For full runway looks head over to Jess’s blog