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For its Exquisite Fall-Winter 2022 collection, the luxury House revels in excess, drawing inspiration from the films of one of the 20th century’s greatest directors.

Some cried foul when they saw Gucci’s Exquisite campaign. The cries are still ringing. What do the Italian label’s clothes say when immersed in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces? The question remains. For its creative director, Alessandro Michele, it’s an “act of love” and an XXL tribute “to cinema and one of its most brilliant maestros.” We can’t say otherwise. From the sets to the costumes, from the hairstyles to the props, from the script to the music, from the photography to the direction, the American filmmaker remains an unequalled perfectionist. His iconography has so nourished the collective imagination that it still inspires creators. Michele thus “explodes the past into the present” in a score of “eclectic and dissonant stories that can sacralize the human and its metamorphic capacity.” And to do so, he retraces the most sacred shots from 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon,and Eyes Wide Shut.

Strange Love

“Manipulating his images, within a whole new semantic framework, is like hacking the Mona Lisa,” Michele explained “I’ve always admired Kubrick’s remarkable ability to tackle very different subjects… He was, in essence, a true genre sculptor: the cross-genre director, ahead of his time. His ability to construct stories that go beyond the basics, crossing boundaries and setting labels on fire, has always deeply inspired me.” The most spectacular part of this campaign is the replicas of the scenes that are as beautiful as they are impressively precise. The campaign is a perfect collaboration between the set design of Gideon Ponte, who worked on American Psycho and Buffalo 66, the art direction of Christopher Simmonds, and the sleek shots of Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. And let’s not forget Milena Canonero. The Oscar-winning costume designer and Kubrick’s collaborator on three of his films also helped the project recreate some of the original outfits, going back to the shots that made her a star in costume history.

Nathalie Dassa

Photo credits Mert & Marcus