It's easy to talk about fashion labels turning over a new leaf - after all, fashion is often based on the very notion of reinvention and the ability to transform the past. But very few contemporary luxury labels can say they've had an about face as dramatic as Gucci has in recent months.
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While much has been said about creative director Alessandro Michele and his gloriously off-kilter-glamour vision for Gucci, last night's menswear show (which we streamed live here) felt like an even bigger continuation of the themes present in his Resort and A/W '15 menswear and womenswear collection. There was a dash of the romantic in the miniature bow ties and rose corsages; the debonair with fur-trimmed silk robes; not to mention the deliberate androgyny seen in the embroidered suits, pussy-bow collars and lace button-ups heavy with floral applique.
And like the Prada and Burberry collections that preceded last night's presentation, a salient feature of the show was the use of male and female models. While Prada was quick to make the distinction between his and hers pieces co-existing as opposed to interchangeable, Michele wasn't so hell-bent on making his statement crystal clear. What we got instead was an array of retro-tinged looks - from ruffled shirts and flared denim jeans to suede-trimmed trenches in Gucci's monogram and tie-dye that harked back to Gucci's glamorous past.
This collection was also noteworthy for being Michele's first proper menswear collection for the brand (last season's A/W '15 menswear show was thrown together in just a week), and if anything, it solidifies his presence as a creative director with a strong vision and a hello of a lot more to say and prove. All we can say is, bring on the spring/summer '16 womenswear collections.