Following the thread of our In Vogue: The 1990s podcast, we’re closing out the 12 months and heading into the brand new one with a sequence of newly digitized archival reveals from the last decade that style can’t—and received’t—let go of. Designed by Tom Ford, Gucci’s spring 1999 ready-to-wear assortment was introduced in October 1998, in Milan.
Tom Ford’s breakthrough Gucci second was his fall 1995 assortment of velvet fits and acid inexperienced silks that evoked the louche decadence of Studio 54. That 15-minute present made Gucci synonymous with s-e-x, and it shot Ford to fame.
Three years later the general public was nonetheless clamoring for “extra, extra, extra.” Ford? Not a lot. “After eight knockout seasons he had reached a artistic roadblock,” reported Vogue in a 1999 profile. “It wasn’t that the grasp of timing had misplaced his contact with the general public. Removed from it. He was in a predicament most designers would like to have. His imaginative and prescient of cool, untouchable, hard-edged intercourse was nonetheless fashionable, and Gucci’s hip-huggers, snaffle-bit sneakers, and fox-fur chubbies have been nonetheless must-buys. However Ford, who put the subtle yawn into garments, was bored along with his personal creations.”
That ennui seeped into Ford’s fall 1998 assortment for Gucci, however the agile designer was again on monitor for spring 1999 when he ditched minimalism and early-’60s Jackie O. references in favor of a Summer season of Love vibe.
Ford figuratively let his hair down and embraced an earthier sensuality—not that there was any Woodstockian mud concerned: Ford described the aesthetic as “Las Vegas hippie.” “Ciao Studio 54; good day Cher!” quipped journalist Michele Ingrassia.
There was no query that Gucci hippies have been haute and scorching. They wore teeny-weeny bikinis in the identical color-popping floral used on ruffled jersey attire. (Ford returned to “the backyard” for his namesake assortment for spring 2021.) On the time the perimeter, the mirror-work tops, and the heady floral prints appeared like a enjoyable bohemian romp; twenty years later the beaded sneakers, suede boots, and embellished denims learn otherwise. They clearly borrow, with out credit score, from Indigenous and African craft traditions.
Vogue deemed the gathering “a extra colourful and upbeat tackle sexiness that goes means past minimalism.” “These are eclectic, eccentric, and—I hate to make use of the phrase—glad garments,” Ford informed The Los Angeles Occasions.