Alessandro Michele is obsessed with flowers, and that obsession has often been translated into his work at Gucci. Since being at the helm of the brand about 6 years ago, Michele has frequently churned out a variety of floral prints, so much so the Toile de Jouy Herbarium house print of leaves, cherry branches and flowers has become the Italian fashion brand's new signature élan, now cladding the walls of Gucci stores to the plates in the Gucci Garden restaurant in Florence. Michele’s passion for flowers has even prompted a brand-new, well, floral fragrance “Gucci Bloom,” the first which he developed in its entirety.
For Gucci’s latest Epilogue collection, Michele turned to the work of the late American fashion designer Ken Scott. A maestro in floral prints, Scott resided in Milan in the ’60s and ’70s where he created colourful patterned fabrics and collections. He is said to favour large-scale flowers in his creations including peonies, roses, poppies and sunflowers. Scott was called a “fashion gardener” for his talents in transplanting colourful flowers and fantastic gardens onto fabric. His penchant for a more-is-more aesthetic is in many ways what Michele shares in sensibility.
“Ken Scott was a really great creator of fabrics,” Michele said in a statement. “he mapped out flowers with romanticism and flowers into pop culture. He treated flowers like shop signs, he multiplied them, turned them into something that stood out. I like his work because I am obsessed with floral prints.”
Michele selected some rare prints from Ken Scott’s archive and transformed them into pieces that melded grunge, whimsy and kink. The decorative motifs can be seen on blazers, skirts, T-shirts and a number of flowing dresses. On the accessories front, shoes and boots come in four different but equally exuberant Ken Scott prints, detailed with micro-Ken Scott and Gucci script logos. The same prints are also extended on Gucci’s iconic bags such as the Jackie 1961, Horsebit 1955 and Dionysus. The standout pieces are the silk carrés in various sizes, headbands in lame and baseball caps and bucket hats—easy pieces to add a little fun into your everyday look.
Although we’ve become accustomed to these high-concept collaborations from Gucci, this is certainly one that is exceptional. Scott and Michele are two designers who share many similar qualities when it comes to owning a maximalist aesthetic. As Michele said in the video from the Epilogue collection, “this is the end of the beginning of an experiment,” so perhaps we will be seeing more unexpected collaborations in the near future.
To celebrate the launch of the Ken Scott pieces, the Gucci Podcast will launch a special episode featuring writer, academic, critic and Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories at London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts London Shahidha Bari who narrates a story about the American designer’s life, work and legacy in modern fashion.
Swipe the gallery to take a look at Gucci's Epilogue Collection: