By Avril Groom
Gucci shows exactly why it makes sense for luxury brands to creatively integrate fashion and accessories. Top labels now relate their shoe and bag designs closely to their catwalk shows, though those on the runway are understandably more extreme than most commercial styles. But until recently fashion brands’ jewellery and watches were often made under licence with little more than general approval of designs that might feature the house logo but made little reference to their fashion collections.
All this changed when Alessandro Michele became creative director of Gucci two years ago. Not only is he super-aware of accessories, having already designed them there, he is also a watch fan determined to bring its timepieces back to the level of the 1980s when Gucci’s bracelet watch with interchangeable coloured bezels was a fashion must-have. Success has been swift. Watches and jewellery keep house signifiers like the doubt G, the Diamantina pattern and the triple-stripe ribbon, sometimes rec-coloured, but add tiny metal symbols very personal to Michele – a star, a bee, a heart and a little stud, which form hour markers on the G-Timeless, while the double G is worked in gold, diamonds and multi-coloured stones, including sapphires, topazes, amethysts and tsavorites, for delicate fine jewellery.