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Image / Style / Fashion

Gucci celebrates 100 years with a Balenciaga collaboration


by Holly O'Neill
15th Apr 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

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After much rumours and speculation about the Gucci and Balenciaga collaboration, we finally saw it at Gucci’s 100th-anniversary show, Gucci Aria.

Last year, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele decided to leave behind the fashion show calendar in favour of seasonless collections twice a year, something Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia has also expressed interest in. Both brands have had sell-out collaborations – Gucci with North Face, Balenciaga with Crocs, and now they’ve come together in a collaboration that’s been dubbed ‘the Nike x Adidas of luxury fashion.’

Just don’t call it a collaboration. As per Gucci’s Instagram Stories, where we see a conversation between Michele and Gvasalia, this is a “hacking” of Balenciaga designs.

For this centenary show, Alessandro Michele is taking on the brand’s 100 year history with a film directed by Floria Sigismondi, featuring a range of Gucci-mentioned songs; there’s Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang,” Rick Ross featuring Future in “Green Gucci Suit,” Bhad Bhabie’s “Gucci Flip Flops (featuring Lil Yachty)” and Die Antwoord and Dita Von Teese’s “Gucci Coochie.”

The film opens with a model peeping into a hole on the door of a nightclub called Savoy Club. ‘Savoy Club’(which we’ll later see plastered on hats and bags in the show), is a reference to the Savoy Hotel in London, where Guccio Gucci (prepare to hear a lot more about him ahead of Lady Gaga’s next film) worked when he first had the idea to start a luggage brand that became the Gucci we know today.

Through the peephole, the model sees a mythical forest and enters the nightclub. Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” plays, and we see the model wearing a red velvet suit famously designed by Tom Ford for Gucci in 1996. Cameras are flashing, feathered pants, sleeves, sequined corsets and horsebit harnesses are walking down the runway, and we get the first look at the Gucci and Balenciaga ‘hacks’ – with Gucci prints in Balenciaga silhouettes, emblazoned with names of both houses. There are hourglass jackets, models wearing Gucci and Balenciaga necklaces, and lots of new takes on iconic Gucci signatures, with the famous Flora pattern reimagined as a suit, horsebit harnesses and handpainted Bamboo bags.

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Where’s the weird moment in every Gucci show where models hold their own severed heads, I hear you ask? I believe it’s when entirely diamond-encrusted bags shaped like a human heart appear.

Watch the Gucci Aria show below.

Photography by Gucci.