Thanks to Gucci, the Renaissance is on everyone’s mind. As the Florence-born fashion house took a trip to its origins yesterday for its Resort 2018 show, it’s worth questioning why antiquity was on Alessandro Michele’s mind this season. It’s especially interesting considering Chanel’s ode to Ancient Greece in its Resort 2018 collection was a direct reference to the genesis of Western culture. Fashion is inherently an industry of forward-thinkers, but what if the chaos of our current times pushed us to think ancient?
A core belief of the Renaissance movement was that classical thought and aesthetics were a way to restore modern times (sound familiar?). Defenders of ancient thought looked back to Greece and Rome as a guide to make sense of the fall of the Roman Empire. Unconsciously or not, Michele and Lagerfeld proposed a similar perspective as the world shifts its zeitgeist.
At Chanel, Lagerfeld insisted that the collection had nothing to do with our time. “Reality is of no interest to me,” he said in the show notes. Yet, reality is interested in Lagerfeld and its current chaotic nature might have influenced the designer to take us all back to a time of great philosophic and artistic production—think Sophocles’ Antigone. After all, Coco Chanel designed costumes for Jean Cocteau’s production of this classic play in 1922.