Gucci is amazingly great! Gucci is one of the most prominent, luxury megabrands, synonymous with high-end glamour. To stay relevant in the business of luxury goods, Gucci has to continually reinvent fashion and all the style elements that come with it.

Small wonder that I was terribly excited to be invited by Store Specialists to the Gucci Spring/Summer 2017 Women’s and Men’s Collection that was on display in Seoul, Korea. As a lifestyle columnist, I am not usually the one Inquirer sends to view a fashion collection, but I thank my lucky stars I was the one chosen for the Gucci press trip. So for my first ever fashion review experience, I made sure to research on the technical fashion side of this awesome brand. Much of the research, of course, was simply to ask my fellow traveler, Daryl Chang, fashion director of Preview Magazine.

I learned a lot about Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. The Italian fashion star is responsible for all of Gucci’s collections and global brand image. He also has the creative role for Gucci’s Florentine fine porcelain brand, Richard Ginori. Under Alessandro, Gucci has taken a new direction in fashion. His full vision for Gucci was on display during the Women’s Fall/Winter 2015-16 runway show and in the Seoul show we attended.

All of the pieces in this collection, entitled Magic Lanterns, “tell a story steeped in wonder, phantasmagoria, and unorthodoxy.” It is the “Gucci-est” Gucci collection ever presented with texture on texture, bold ruffles, a spectrum of color and pattern overload styling that collectively looks incredible.

According to Vogue, Alessandro has injected into the Gucci SS17 collection his wild, hippie-de-luxe vision with the ’80s inspiration still going strong. Logo tees, leggings, and stirrup pants are made for the new fashion market that is markedly younger and quirkier with an ambiguous sexuality and a romantic spirit. He tries to balance the past and present because to live in the future, one must have the urgency of the present. His modern fashion sense has historical tones beneath all the details.

As if the collection was designed for me, Gucci SS17 has over-the-top and show-stopping hats that are matched with the progressively colorful collection. Bold ruffles from all angles dominate the look as well as studded suede trouser suits, and boucle skirts.

Alessandro’s aesthetic is resonating with the Gucci customer and this was another collection packed with kooky desirables, from a mink coat with zebra intarsia to a Dynasty-style, one-shouldered and ruffled cocktail dress with “modern” spelled out in gold sequins on the back of one sleeve. Check out the collection at the Gucci stores located in Greenbelt 4 and Shangri-La Plaza East Wing.

It’s hard not to be a Gucci disciple. I’ve now discovered a downside to covering the fashion beat. With my propensity for shopping, I end up spending too much!

I decided to wear my new Gucci shoes with zebra stripes and the iconic double-G buckle at the on-going Art Fair at The Link Parking Building in Makati. When you walk around in Guccis, you tend to notice others in Gucci. Good friend Patty Chilip and beautiful actress Iza Calzado were also in double G’s, the latter in a startling pair with pearl studs on the heels. How did I miss out on those?

A visit to the Art Fair will convince anyone that the art scene in Manila is really alive and kicking. Held every February, the event grows and grows and now occupies almost the entire parking garage. More galleries and artists are represented, and it is possible to pick up some great stuff from both established names and up-and-coming, younger artists.

I love checking out the new blood. While the veteran artists can display work going to six and seven figures, the younger set offer much more acceptable prices. When they are displayed alongside the greats, the best of the new artists can hold their own, thus allowing them to break into the public’s consciousness. When an artist has a successful run at the Art Fair, he or she can truly become the next household name.

Meanwhile the vets are setting new highs and breaking barriers, both here and abroad. For example, I loved the mixed media work of National Artist BenCab displayed at the Secret Fresh Gallery. It’s the sort of stuff that will provide inspiration to buyers and the next generation of artists. Check out the Art Fair, sponsored by Bench as part of its 30th anniversary celebration.

 

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