Fine to personal art. Vintage and constantly changing urban culture. Fashion that’s loud as it is structured. Life-changing architecture, places and memories. People of all age groups, faults and orientations. When all intertwine in unbeknown, karmic manners, it is to say one can’t exist without the other. This is something Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele has always celebrated and practiced consistently for years. Michele’s latest showcase for Gucci’s Cruise 2021 collection is called Epilogue and comes with twists, turns, humility and love.

You won’t see grand setups in a runway show format with jaw-dropping backdrops of Milan or Paris, in monuments or warehouses you didn’t even know existed. There aren’t celebrities hogging a front row for photographers, influencers, writers and bloggers to ensure their cameras are ready for that one perfect click. No bright multi-coloured lights like you’re tripping on acid.

It’s even better. A real and raw portrait of humanity, with Gucci’s fashion never being compromised. Designers as models, models playing photographers and storytellers. Backstage heroes coming to the fore. A complete reimagination of an otherwise faultlessly structured backend working process and format. A perfectly imaged and imagined fashion universe disrupted for a truly relatable result. A fine mix of art, culture and people. This didn’t happen by fluke. Michele questioned the world of fashion and reflected upon it in February during an excavation. What came out of it is what he calls a fairy tale made up of three parts.

First, a constant want to celebrate the magical ritual of a runway show. A momentous and unique occasion when creative thinking executed by many moving parts goes public. This time he unveiled what lies behind the curtains and put his traveling companions centre stage: “[A] collective intelligence, inspired and sensitive that makes the enchantment of beauty possible.” Because otherwise, Michele wondered “What is the impact of unveiling what builds illusion?”

The inspiration behind the second act came during Gucci’s May advertising campaign. He reflected, “What happens to communication when it stops becoming a unilateral act? What happens to the creative product when it escapes predetermination?” Michele who calls himself an “obsessive director” took a step back and began believing “beauty can appear, unpredictably and wonderfully imperfect through the absence of control.”

His final revelation, “What happens to fashion, and its seductive ability, when the true goes back to being just a moment of the false?” And so in what you see are clothes worn by those who also helped create them. The designers with whom Michele shares the magic of art, design and community. They are the performers of a new story. Creativity is a shared passion. “It was necessary for me to go down that road brimful of love. It was a road that deposited new questions and stirred things up, producing new intuitions. In this sense, the epilogue that I deliver to you today really feels like an overture.”

In turn, Michele wasn’t the only face you see bowing down at the end of a runway show to loud applause. What he explained to a larger universe is that he is but a great sum of a large creative community. A co-existence of many forms of life, expression and love that resonates with the world.