Genetics are formed by generational exchange. When the imaginations of separate minds splice across eras, the concept of heritage takes shape. The Gucci Fall Winter 2023 Women’s Collection connects the creative cultures that cross-pollinate the history of the House in an evocative but contemporary proposal. A free expression founded in collective memories that blur the lines of time, it is an illustration of the beating heart of Gucci: the ecosystem of designers and artisans whose shared understanding of the House has passed down and evolved from creative to creative for over a century. In an exuberant conversation between past and future, the collection reflects on Gucci as a cultural constant and reinvigorates the influence of the visionaries that fronted it, paving the way for a new dimension to its heritage.

The show unfolds within the anatomy of the House. In the inner sanctum of the Gucci Hub, elevators transport the collection through the building to the runway, illustrating the creative process behind any new proposition: from the archives where concepts ignite, through the ateliers where ideas develop, to the runway where new expressions manifest. Surrounded by seats crafted in innovative Demetra material, spherical podiums represent the collaborative circularity at the heart of Gucci’s creative community. An obscure yet familiar soundscape triggers the memory, evoking eras and attitudes that materialise in contemporary guises as a reflection of the collection itself. The premise is personified by an ensemble cast that spans the recent eras of the House, from the 1990s to the 2010s and today.

The silhouette recalls Gucci’s erotic and glamorous form language of the 1990s and early 2000s, but paints it in the electrically sumptuous colour palette of the 2010s. Playing with the familiar feeling of returning to a dimension you once knew only to experience it bigger or smaller, tailoring magnifies while shirting and two-piece tops and skirts appear minimised.  Suits in wool or leather cut an oversized frame with voluminous shoulders, dropped necklines and low-riding trousers. Skirts appear in longline or knee-length expressions in sheer fabrics and embellished lace suggestive of lingerie. The idea echoes in a crystal-encrusted GG metal bra that sets for tone exaggerated cocktail jewellery that drapes around necklines and busts and cascades dramatically to the floor.

The sensory approach is amplified in tactile oversized knits in brushed mohair and looped yarns, and in coats and lapels crafted in oscillating shearling or faux fur dipped in vibrant hues. Created according to the principles of savoir-faire, eveningwear conjures the shapes of hearts – a symbol of the House’s core – in the drop-waist skirt of a double-duchesse bustier dress, in the effervescence of a dress fully embroidered in contrast plume, and in the bust line of an Empire gown. Coloured visor sunglasses allude to a classic Gucci flacon, allowing the wearer to see the world through Rush-tinted glasses, while bearskins conceived in plume cement the exuberance of a collection driven by the enduring creativity that courses through the veins of Gucci.

New takes on the rounded trapezoid chain bag are adorned with the horsebit and interpreted in padded, shearling, crystal and contrast-leather manifestations. Honouring an archival icon, the Jackie bag appears in its original shape but softened in construction and adapted in two-tone colours and GG-embossed leather. The classic Gucci loafer is elevated on rubber soles, while snow boots originally designed for the 1960s’ ski collection re-emerge tacked up with horsebits. Kitten heels dominate square sandals, wide-shaft boots, and tigerhead-embellished sandals inspired by the Dionysus bag. Boxing boots and basketball sneakers inject the collection with a faint hint of sportswear.

Photos courtesy of GUCCI.