FINAL ACT: Gucci might not have sent a single clothing piece down the runway during Milan Fashion Week, yet the inclusive approach and storytelling flux promoted by its creative director Alessandro Michele left a mark on the schedule via an impactful performance event.
Held at the Gucci Hub headquarters on Monday evening and attended by the company’s president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri; Italy’s Camera della Moda president Carlo Capasa, and Italian surfer Leonardo Fioravanti, the brand’s jewelry and watch ambassador, the 90-minute “Motus MDLSX” play was a manifesto about gender fluidity and the journey in affirming one’s own identity, transcending labels imposed by society.
Preceded by a brief cocktail, the play was staged in the same location that usually houses the label’s fashion shows, but only half of the venue was used to re-create the minimal theater — marked on one side by a wall of mirrors — and basic set featuring a wide screen and a long table with props.
Produced by independent theater company Motus and directed by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò, the play featured a touching performance of Italian androgynous actress Silvia Calderoni.
Mixing a monologue with a DJ and VJ set, Calderoni created a rich narrative by blending dance, video projections, autobiographical footage tracking back to her youth and literary quotes — ranging from philosopher Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble” and “Undoing Gender” titles to Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” and Paul B. Preciado’s “Manifeste Contra-Sexuel” — overall taking inspiration from the 2003 Pulitzer Prize novel “Middlesex” by American writer Jeffrey Eugenides.
Yet Calderoni’s play felt very personal, also because it was punctuated by 22 selected tracks — including songs by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, Air, R.E.M. and the final “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” single by The Smiths — that left 400 guests tempted to use the Shazam app throughout the show not to miss any tune.
Quite a challenge considering that use of mobile phones was forbidden, marking a detour from Gucci’s usual practice of providing Instagrammable moments to its audience. The social media path will be trod again next month, though, when the fashion label will stage its coed show in the same venue after it decamped to Paris for one season last September.