The strength of Alessandro Michele's voice at Gucci has had a profound effect on the fashion industry. From the high-street to Gucci's peers in the upper echelons of luxury, hints of Michele's romance and gentle awkwardness are being furiously referenced/emulated/copied (take your pick); and though the Italian designer is just approaching his two year mark as Creative Director, it is almost difficult to want to remember the Gucci before him. Michele thrives on the unconventional and the Gucci 4 Rooms installation at the Gucci store in Ginza, Tokyo is his latest endeavour in challenging the norm.
The Creative Director invited Canadian artist Trouble Andrew (who was responsible for various spray-painted motifs in the AW16 collection) as well as Japanese artists Chiharu Shiota, Daito Manabe and Mr. to each create virtual and real (at Gucci's flagship in Ginza) spaces that represent Michele's own lexicon. Each room incorporates items from the AW16 collection, as well as limited edition pieces available exclusively online and in-store in Japan only.
"One might think of fashion and the digital space as something quite opposite but I think that by connecting two worlds, we are able to expand human ability and make something even better,' says multi-media artist Daito Manabe, who incorporated sound, light, animation and text for his own Gucci Words room. "I thought about Alessandro's vision and what he was thinking when he made the products, and the inspirations behind his work would become the core of my installation."
Mr., a self-confessed otaku, incorporated his anime-style paintings with the house's insects, plants and flowers for the Gucci Garden room. "My room is like a peek into a secret chamber. On the surface, things can appear to be organised, tidy and beautiful but inside the heart, it tells a different story," says the artist. Mr. is certainly no stranger to collaborating with fashion brands, having previously worked with Issey Miyake, Adidas and Supreme.
"Fashion is an art form," adds Manabe on the interplay between the two worlds. "Certain artists may not like to include fashion under the same umbrella but I think it's meaningless to build a wall between the two mediums."
Check out the Gucci4Rooms microsite here. The Gucci 4 Rooms exhibit is on the 7th floor of Gucci Ginza and is open to the public till Sunday, November 27. Admission is free.