For Alessandro Michele’s glossy Gucci Aria campaign, the creative director called in the big guns to help him pay homage to where the brand all began: The Savoy. Photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and this season’s “protagonists”, original supermodel Kristen McMenamy and the rising Italian rock band Måneskin, decamped to a hotel suite to capture seductive vignettes alluding to Guccio Gucci’s roots.
Working as a lift attendant in his youth, Guccio observed The Savoy’s cosmopolitan guests, and channelled their bourgeois codes into the early foundations of his signature aesthetic. McMenamy and Måneskin master the roles of mysteriously alluring hotel residents, with Kristen pulling power poses in the cult “Hacker Project” suiting, and musicians Damiano David, Victoria de Angelis, Thomas Raggi and Ethan Torchio joining a cohort of models wearing mythology-infused Aria pieces in intriguing hallway encounters.
The final reference for this beguiling photo series? The video for Madonna’s “I Want You”, which was set in a hotel and now provides the soundtrack to the colour-saturated Gucci Aria campaign film. No wonder McMenamy says she felt like “a sexy, liberated and super powerful woman ready to party” on set.
“Alessandro’s clothes are both elegant and epic with a modern playful touch and a giant dose of old-school glamour,” shares Kristen, a self-professed Gucci girl. Famed for her idiosyncratic looks and offbeat, punkish style, the 56-year-old fashion maven—who has recently become Vogue’s favourite Instagrammer—is still a sucker for a night in hotel. “My favourite part is the room service,” she says, plainly. “Because I love a big cooked breakfast brought to me on a silver tray.”
The image of the model industry’s quiet provocateur dripping in Gucci finery, while tucking into a full English, is enough to make us love her even more. God bless Kristen McMenamy; bangers, baked beans and all.
Creative director: Alessandro Michele
Art director: Christopher Simmonds
Photographers and directors: Mert and Marcus
Make-up: Diane Kendal
Hair: Paul Hanlon
Video music credits
“I WANT YOU”
(Leon Ware, Arthur Ross)
© 1974 Almo Music Corp./ Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Licensed by Universal Music Publishing Ricordi Srl.
Artist: Madonna, Massive Attack
℗ 1995 Universal Music Italia Srl
This story was originally published on British Vogue.