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Gucci and Beyond: nerds go haute couture
by Drew Rowsome


The geeks have conquered the world!

Or at least haute couture.
Will there be runways at Comic-Con and Toronto's Fan Expo (August 31 to September 3)?

Cosplay aside, rabid sci-fi fans have never been considered a particularly stylish bunch, but fashion house Gucci is betting that stoking sci-fi nostalgia will sell their high-priced apparel and shoes.

The campaign for Gucci's Fall/Winter collection, "Gucci and Beyond," is an absolute hoot. And though the clothes are not particularly spacey or retro, they do look fabulous in the settings of various b-movies and old television sci-fi series.

Director Alessandro Michele and artistic director Christopher Simmonds place the models and garments amidst the beloved low-fi kitsch of Creature from the Black LagoonLand of the GiantsValley of the GwangiStar TrekLost in Space and similar much-loved from re-runs productions. And there are several clever little easter eggs for the true fanatics including an appearance by a Tom Baker-era Doctor Who stand-in, and cribbing from the theme music from Space 1999.

I don't know if it will sell schmatta, but I've watched the video multiple times and am utterly entranced with the photographs.

There is also an intriguing saucy undertone beyond the revenge of the nerds on fashionistas. Gucci had been receiving flack, like most fashion labels, for the lack of diversity in the models it used. Their previous campaign, "Soul Scene" featuring only black models in a '60s-style dance party, was, instead of being lauded as an attempt to redress the balance, blasted for being culturally insensitive if not outright cultural appropriation. But is hard to cry "Cultural appropriation!" when one of the "Gucci and Beyond" models is "Ejaw Bolsorg, age 36 from the Xoor Cluster." Or ageist when the campaign also features the hunky "Xeod, age 7000 from Unknown." It doesn't get much more diverse, or campy, than that.

Sky Gilbert is a Canadian writer, actor, academic and drag performer. https://skygilbert.blogspot.ca/

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