If the Internet is to be believed (and rightly or wrongly, it often is), this season’s hottest accessories are the ones you can’t buy. Twitter and Instagram went into a fit after Wednesday’s Gucci show in Milan, where models walked down the runway” in an unsettlingly sterile space set up to look like an operating room in a haunted psychiatric hospital.
The major takeaway from the Gucci show, or the one that shot it into virality, wasn’t the clothes per se but the bizarre objects that are (most likely) not for sale, including but not limited to baby dragons and fake severed heads made to resemble the models carrying them. Other models carried snakes—a Gucci emblem—while one had a prosthetic third eye. According to Vogue, Alessandro Michele reached out “unexpectedly” to Makinarium, a special-effects company based in Rome, to create the additions, which took six months to make.
“Our job (as creatives) is a surgical job: cutting and assembling and experimenting on the operating table,” Michele told reporters after the show, explaining that the heads represented “looking after your head and thoughts” and struggling to find your own identity.
Could it be that having the most-followed and in-demand models walk your show is no longer sufficient enough for press and sales, forcing brands like Tod’s to employ a gimmick on top of the world’s top supermodels? With declarations that “fashion week is dead,” going nowhere, and the immediacy of the Internet dissecting trends the moment they’re on the runway, it’s becoming harder for designers to keep hold of their customer’s attention, especially when their customers are everywhere. While designers may reject the idea of adding extra bells and whistles to their work, it’s the ones who do that get seem to get ahead. Philip Plein’s outrageous shows, which adhere to the mantra “more is more . . . and then add some more,” are created in hopes of breaking the Internet. And a lot of times, it works.