Debuted in August, the Gucci Exquisite campaign is an ode to creative director Alessandro Michele’s love for cinema and reverence for one of its brightest maestros. 

Fashion and Hollywood are intrinsically linked; pop culture has always influenced the realm of fashion through iconic costumes and creative concepts. There’s no denying that ‘fashionable’ films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Great Gatsby have sparked trends – both in fast fashion and high-end luxury. Unlike the said films, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre draws inspiration from various forms of literature. It also sees meticulous attention to detail – which makes his movies inimitable. However, it didn’t deter creative director Alessandro Michele from recreating Kubrick’s iconic scenes in his latest endeavour, the Gucci Exquisite campaign.

Capturing the essence of the philosophic director, the moving images and stills nod at Kubrick’s renowned films: 2001: A Space Odyssey; A Clockwork Orange; Barry Lyndon; Eyes Wide Shut; and The Shining.

“His [Stanley Kubrick] ability to build stories that exceed significance, crossing borders and setting labels on fire, has always been deeply inspiring to me,” Michele mentioned in a press release. “If you ask me, a garment is not, and never will be, just a piece of fabric. It’s rather the means through which we are able to unfold who we really decide to be, it’s how we shape our desires and the ultimate sense of our staying. That’s why I’ve always imagined my collections as films able to convey a cinematography of the present: a score of stories, eclectic and dissonant, that can sacralize the human and its metamorphic ability.”

As an act of love, the creative director reinhabits iconic cinematic moments from the aforementioned films. “I took the liberty of disassembling, blending, grafting and reassembling them. Sticking to my creative praxis, I seized those movies, resemanticizing them, populating them with my clothes.” 

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Showcased alongside the AW22 pieces, replica costumes designed by Milena Canonero ensure absolute accuracy with the film-inspired stills conceived with Warner Bros and Turner. 

In an ersatz set of Barry Lyndon, a new character appears in a adidas x Gucci gown, reimagined as a Victorian costume. On the other hand, the dress, designed by Laura Whitcomb and worn by Madonna in the nineties, graces the gothic scenes of The Shining. Following the vintage glamour theme, the mysterious darkness of the enigmatic ritual of Eyes Wide Shut embraces a venus in fur, embellished with sensual bourgeois pearls, while the 90s shoes with a fetish flavour explode through the frames of A Clockwork Orange.

Finally, the dreamiest evening dress dangled in soft tulle ruches bursts into the aseptic and dystopian space of the Discovery One in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Michele explains: “This situationist game mixes historical plans, references, and experiences. The past explodes into the present. Everything can become anything, or something else. As in that famous scene of Kubrick’s masterpiece, where the bone turns into a spaceship. As in life.”

Other Campaign Stills

By marrying Kubrick’s trailblazing approach with Michele’s eclecticism, Exquisite emulates the same visionary power as films. A power to dig up in the real, making it vertiginously imaginative and questionable. “With “Exquisite” I carry on my attempt to mingle high and low, this time coherently and synergistically with the grammar of the great director,” the creative director professes. Through this unorthodox approach to fashion campaigns, the clothes “turn into highly imaginative functional prosthesis, and they do so to tell a story. A story that shatters, enchants, tortures, ignites. Because it’s the story of the human that dwells in each and every one of us.”

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Now that you’re done with the story, click here to read about the Exquisite Gucci and adidas collaboration.