Visionary designer Alessandro Michele is well versed in presenting astonishing shows for Gucci, having previously toyed with baby dragons, waxwork heads and flame-licked Gothic crypts. However, his latest show at Milan Fashion Week surpassed even his own high standards.
The fashion mogul sent 68 sets of twins, reportedly sourced from a twins convention in America, down the runway in two identical shows, staged side by side and divided by a wall.
Oblivious to the matching show happening next door, the ruse was only revealed to the audience when the wall was lifted, and the identically dressed twins joined up on the running.
Visually dazzling, it was created around ideas of otherness and identity.
The show opened with a look of a long jacket, worn with trousers cropped off at the mid thigh and held up by suspenders, followed by a red coat dress paired with leopard print boots.
There were handbags made to look like Mogwais — the mythical characters from the 1984 film Gremlins, and most models wore glasses furnished with chains that hung almost to the shoulder.
Michelle threw in sequins, as boxy silver jackets paired with checked trousers, and a deep red suit; and all black leather — as oversized biker jackets worn over cutaway dresses. There was severe tailoring, in a nod to Tom Ford's time at the house, and a classic 1970s twin-set in white that reminded us all why Gucci became famous in the first place.
But most of all, this show was about patterning, as blousy florals on chiffon dresses, or workman-like spanners and wrenches, in blue, brown, green, red and orange and cut into jackets, coat and skirts.
There was 1980s era sportswear with square metallic leather shoulders, chinoiserie as embroidered skirts, mini dresses and as a a wonderful floor-length cape in pink and powder blue. Elsewhere, there was added glamour via slinky lame dresses, and short and long versions of draped nude chiffon, while plenty of looks were heaped with glossy ruffles and tiers.
An explosion of colours, ideas and energy, it was a tour de force. And, the choice to deliver it via twins was visually dazzling. In what must be one of Michele's finest moments, it also goes some way to explain his long obsession of twinning with actor Jared Leto on the red carpet. Perhaps there really is safety in numbers.
Scroll the gallery below to see the celebrities left seeing double at Gucci's twinned show in Milan