Gucci and Balenciaga Collaborate For the Gucci Aria Runway

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Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia have joined forces for an anticipated designer collaboration reported first by Business of Fashion days before the reveal of Gucci’s Aria collection. We were, in fact, gifted all that and more as we watched the virtual presentation of Aria, which takes heavy influence from equestrian dressing, Disney’s Snow White (you’ll be able to spot Michele’s sexier, shimmering take on the princess dress right away), bondage, and a ’70s color palette for suiting. To summarize, the collection is a mishmash of many things, but thanks to all the sequins and heavy beading, it feels altogether fantastical and expensive.

Set to tracks that allude to the iconic fashion house — Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang,” Rick Ross’s “Green Gucci Suit,” Bhad Bhabie and Lil Yachty’s “Gucci Flip Flops,” James Miller and DMC Mansur’s “Gucci on My Bag,” and Die Antwoord’s “Gucci Coochie” — the video presentation first brings us to a runway with strobe lights, where we’re invited to examine every look and the magic of an upbeat fashion show is reintroduced, frankly reminding us of prepandemic front rows and beat-thumping music we could feel pounding in our chest.

The Gucci x Balenciaga pieces are speckled throughout — a silver metallic beaded skirt suit and camel-colored outerwear splashed with both logos, chunky chain-link jewelry, and a blazer with Balenciaga’s signature fitted structure — each item woven with the DNA of both luxury brands. But there are also red-carpet-worthy outfits to dream about here, like the plunging, gold plisé gown we could see on Elle Fanning or the pink, feather-sleeved tuxedo jacket you can really only imagine on a style aficionado like Billy Porter.

The 15-minute film culminates with the Gucci Aria models immersing themselves in the beauty of nature and demonstrating all different versions of love that the world needs to see right now. Vitalic’s “Waiting For the Stars” plays in the background. Would we have liked to see more representation when it comes to body diversity in the movie? Absolutely, but as for the collection itself, we do commend Michele for reading the room and gauging just how far we can run with our imaginations at this point in time. We were right there in the depths with him, his Gucci, and his Balenciaga.

Watch Gucci Aria above, and click through to see the full lookbook.

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