When Florence Welch spoke to Rolling Stone last week, she mentioned that her recent affinity for Art Deco design — particularly the work of Tamara de Lempicka — strongly influenced the aesthetic of her new album, Ceremonials. She also spoke of sharing a wavelength with Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, who created the singer’s summer tour costumes. The Italian legacy brand’s Spring 2012 collection, presented in Milan yesterday, proves why the two bohemian-loving women connect so well: for all their high-minded ideals, they simply are obsessed with conveying visions of romance as a unified decorative statement. Right now, the world of Fritz Lang’s 1927’s silent, uber-stylized opus Metropolis houses those dreams most pointedly.
Many are calling Gucci’s latest a tribute to another sci-fi classic, Bladerunner, and it’s easy to see how the shapes and angles of Spring’s spangled dresses could be seen as akin to the glass-and-metal retrofitted architecture of Ridley Scott’s dystopian film. But Giannini’s less-stern worldview is concerned with surface appeal: Gucci is a label whose stock in trade is sex appeal, not intellect, and her accessible “steely” palette reinforces that. The majority of the looks featured cold blues, emeralds, and other opulent hues (colors strategically used in interior design), offset by symmetrical panels of navy, black, and cream to create a highly graphical effect. It should be noted that those colors were promimently featured in de Lempicka’s paintings and are commonly used to denote the decadence of Deco at its peak.
Pop music’s recent obsession with Metropolis also seems to be on Giannini’s mind. Everyone from Beyoncé to Rihanna to Lady Gaga has channeled the film’s infamous witch in their cyborg stagewear, but Gucci’s interest lies, again, in the environments she inhabited more than her own dark symbolism. The steely gleam of the season’s best looks handily reflected the intricate industrial cityscapes of the cult classic’s sets, the prevailing aesthetic in many female pop videos du jour, and, most inarguably: a glimpse of what red carpet fashion will look like six months from now.