Armani VS Gucci: Is anything worth talking about in fashion?

'I'm not in. When I see severed heads on the catwalk I pull out."

Sentenced Giorgio Armani after yet another creative stunt at Gucci.

Severed heads, baby dragons... it's all worth it! What can I say? Evidently one gets bored at fashion shows and after all, the important thing is not to talk about clothes!

Those who read me and know my views know very well how I consider creativity a powerful BUT double-edged weapon. Often overrated and misused. After all, as they say:

"Those who do not know how to communicate shout for attention while waiting for someone to turn around."

On the other hand, we all know how the fashion shows (the ones that endure) of the big fashion brands are more the exception than the rule compared to everyday fashion and why not the fashion we then see in the shops of the brands in question.

On the one hand, the spectacularisation, the creation of a 'buzz' a background noise to make each other's excesses resonate has always been part of the rules of the game, but the rules have always been as blurred as crossing the border.

The reflection therefore remains simple and crystal clear, beyond extolling the alleged genius of Alessandro Michele who sees the designer in the role of a modern Frankenstein (without having probably read Mary Shelley's work) or rewarding the sobriety that has always distinguished Giorgio Armani:

Does anything go in fashion as long as it is talked about?

For those who have studied a little theory like me, the fact itself is quite simple:

Generating controversy is one of the easiest strategies to attract media attention and get people talking.

This is brilliantly explained by Al & Laura Ries (great experts in contemporary marketing) in their book The Fall of Advertising & The ries of PR.

The problem with a highly controversial message such as Gucci's is not the message itself but a reflection on how this can then help brand positioning and not least how it then stimulates sales.

It matters little then how much one justifies it by almost ironically applying principles of ingredient branding by saying that the heads are in fact masterpieces resulting from months of work handmade in Italy by the Makinarium workshop in Cinecittà. Little does it matter if they then remind us (all too closely) of the terrible streaming beheadings of ISIS or instead find a psychoanalytic key to the theme of doubles.

The important thing is that we talk about it! In a nutshell? Armani has reinforced his personal and brand positioning by referring to those values of sobriety and elegance that distinguish him. 'King Giorgio' remains an authority and, because of his seniority, he can also allow himself to 'lecture' when others (perhaps) talk too big.

Alessandro Michele has managed to make people talk about him, for better or worse it doesn't matter, after all has anyone ever really cared about 'bad taste' in fashion?

What do you think?

[below some screenshots of article titles].

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