Since Alessandro Michele took the full creative lead at Gucci in January 2015, the Italian legacy house has succeeded in perpetuating an airtight brand that has become, in our own words, relentless. The Gucciness of Gucci has earned the label (and its likely very happy owner, Kering) explosive growth across all categories, from its lucrative shoes and accessories business to a thriving red carpet operation to, yes, home decor. And however far-reaching the Gucci brand may be, its maximalist, vintage-tinged aesthetic remains recognizable a mile away — and we don't expect for that to change anytime soon.
For a creative director as detail-oriented as Michele, it's not at all surprising that he'd ensure that every output the house produces is emblematic of the larger Gucci vision. This, of course, filters down to the physical runway shows — the venues, the sets, the seating — and the invitations that precede them, the latter of which have been known to be exceptionally on-brand. Though this season, Gucci's show invites may have outdone themselves — which is to say, showgoers should not expect to simply open an envelope and toss a piece of heavy-weight card stock into a pile.
For Spring 2018, Gucci sought inspiration from a myriad of sources, including turn-of-the-century pharmacy boxes that used to be made of tin. The invites arrive in a minty green case that includes a thread holder, aromatic paper, candles and matches, all of which reference various vintage pieces of art to which Michele has turned during his creative process.
On the thread holder, you'll find bats from Ernst Haeckel's iconic bat illustrations from 1904, as well as a dragon illustration from Clavis Artis, an alchemy manuscript created in Germany in the early 1700s. The matches portray a petroglyph from inside the Cave of the Trois-Frères, a cave in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings.
Meanwhile, the box itself is wrapped in a paper that's influenced by an antique book (circa 1767) belonging to Michele, called "Decouverte de La Maison de Campagne D'Horace" by French writer and archaeologist Bertrand Capmartin de Chaupy.
Has Gucci's Gucciness — all specific, seemingly obscure vintage references and over-the-top maximalism — ever been so apparent? Perhaps not, though that's a great thing: This is going to be an invite you'll want to hold onto for some time.