The behemoth 115-look event captured every way of life in Los Angeles. “Definitely, I feel like they captured that vibe,” the skateboarder and Southern California resident Nyjah Huston, who wore heels and a floral suit that left his tattooed chest exposed, said when I asked if the collection felt LA enough. “And every other vibe, too.” A majority of those vibes made sure to put the Gucci spin on different Hollywood tropes: from early glam silent films and Spaghetti Westerns to the Los Angeles merch tourists might collect at the souvenir shop at LAX. Then there were looks that nodded at the city’s current uniform: leggings and running sneakers.
All of this was made possible by the changing tides in the fashion industry. At least for its biggest players. Gucci is now showing off-calendar—and all the way out west. A brand as popular and magnetic as Gucci can get away with that. The brand’s show is no longer one of dozens among a fashion-week calendar, but a massive event all on its own, and one that can use its powerful tractor beam to pull everyone to a city for just a single night. While other brands have been putting on their spring/summer 2022 shows, Gucci referred to this one exclusively as Love Parade. (In Los Angeles, there is only one season, anyway.) Those details don’t matter much to the crowd of people who stood just outside the show’s barricade—a mix of young kids in Camp High sweatshirts who’d clearly had this marked on their calendars and tourist-looking folks who’d seemingly stumbled upon the show and stuck around to see what the hullabaloo was all about. Only in Hollywood.
The show ended with one model trailing behind the crowd, her feathery, sparkling train dragging along Hollywood Boulevard. But as Michele clearly knows, the show must go on. The celeb-infested afterparty was just the next block over. And as the night rolled on, it was clear that Michele had found a natural home for his more-is-more aesthetic. While Hollywood Boulevard may be, as Michele writes, a “Greek Temple,” it is also home to off-brand Spider-Men and poorly dressed tourists. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a fashion show that situated me near both a Walgreens and a Baja Fresh. As the show let out, a man just outside the barricade held up a sign advertising $5 shirts and hoodies. “Don’t Pay More!” it advertised to the folks who’d just endured Los Angeles traffic to gawk thousand-dollar gowns and suits. As Michele keenly knows, in Hollywood, glamour and tackiness aren’t enemies—they’re two sides of the same coin.