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Alessandra Fachinetti is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand Gucci bosses are pressuring her to achieve Ford-era profit margins and on the other hand fashion editors are criticizing her for not conceiving ingenious collections free of her former boss’ influence. However, a quick history lesson will remind us that Fachinetti trained under the wonder boy from Texas before being promoted to design for perhaps the most recognizable luxury label in the world. Hence, it should come as no surprise when Alessandra’s conception of sexy is heavily influenced by her earlier education. Further, even if Ms. Fachinetti were to cloak Gucci in a new mantel, would consumers buy it? Then the real question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we ready for post-Ford-um?”

The naissance of the Gucci show came with a black cashmere coat with a high stand-collar, low slung self-rouleau belt and embellished epaulettes. Subsequently, Ford fashion staples like, skin-tight drain pipe trousers, voluminous blouson shirts, romantic silk neck-tie blouses, polished tailored jackets, and luxurious shearlings, made their appearance. Black dominated the color palette, while with splashes of silver, white and gunpowder Fachinetti’s futile efforts gasped for air.

Ultimately, when the designer tried to reinterpret her legacy in the form of silk jersey key-hole dresses, off the shoulder empire waist chiffon gowns and form fitting evening pieces with re-embroidered lace bodices her work appeared at its most desperate. Redressing the past is not the solution to Alessandra’s problem. What Gucci needs is a clean slate. Going back to my earlier question, “Yes, we have been ready all along.” Except, with every passing season it seems like Fachinetti is not the gal to pull this off.

As Alessandra’s artistic vision is obviously convoluted by her apprenticeship, Robert Polet needs to recruit a Young Turk, who can exorcise the past and breathe fresh air into the brand.



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