VAQUEL by VAQUEL FOR GUCCI FW 2020 AD CAMPAIGN - 'THE RITUAL'
May 20, 2020
“This time was the time to reveal how powerful human beings are. That idea of humanity. Fashion is humanity” – Alessandro Michele
Alessandro Michele is interested, always, in shifting our point of view – in challenging, provoking, and playing. His Autumn/Winter 2020 Gucci show put the backstage centre stage – the make-up was front-of-house, while a transparent scrim revealed the process of dressing the models, “making the heartbeats visible,” in Michele’s words. It also made their entrance to the catwalk suddenly become not the start of a vision, for the audience, but its climax, upending fashion conventions, perceptions and expectations. Turning the tables. And it played out to the words of Federico Fellini, another great Italian showman.
Michele decided to continue doing that for his latest Autumn/Winter 2020 Gucci campaign. Rather than the obsessive auteurship of a figure like Fellini – which Michele freely admits he usually revels in – he instead surrendered control to a selection of models and characters from that show, encouraging them to create a series of intimate self-portraits that decontextualise Gucci in the everyday, an idea Michele has always been fascinated by. There were no make-up artists or hair stylists, no photographer even. Michele decided on this “experiment” (his word) way back when, in the planning of that spectacular February show – and before the Covid-19 pandemic made the process of shooting conventional fashion imagery impossible. He called the campaign “Rituals” – and it celebrates the rituals of the everyday – dressing, living. Rituals that have been, somehow, interrupted.