When a fashion brand debuts a line at a fashion show, it’s not just a chance to show off new clothes; it’s also an opportunity make a splash. And that’s just what Gucci did on Wednesday at Milan Fashion Week, with a showing that might have been more at home on Game of Thrones: models hitting the runway carrying replicas of their own decapitated heads.
The collection, from creative director Alessandro Michele, is called “Cyborg,” and it showcases the brand’s Fall/Winter 2018 clothing line. The heads were created by Rome-based special effects company Makinarium. which created them with a 3D printer.
Good to know that head replication technology is so advanced these days!
The decapitation-themed exhibit wasn’t just for shock value–though it definitely does achieve that. The inspiration for “Cyborg” comes from a 1984 feminist theory from Donna Haraway. (Michele credited Haraway in his show notes.) Haraway’s theory compares modern women to cyborgs from science fiction. Just like a cyborg is a being whose entire self is manufactured, modern women’s identities are created by a combination “Lived experiences, socio-political pressures and ideas from popular fiction.”
Models carrying their own heads is a way to encourage women to practice self-acceptance, by “Looking after their heads and thoughts,” Michele told Reuters.
While the exhibition did impress some, plenty of people were understandably weirded out by the whole thing.
I mean I realise that some top models are head hunted for shows…but this is ridiculous!
Fashion show or horror show….way too creepy!
— ?Little Parry? (@MadameCupcakes) February 21, 2018
I love Gucci but can we go back to the good old fashioned runways and not a surgery room with models carrying replicas of their heads pic.twitter.com/W1PvMGky4G
— Vicky Gill (@vickygillxo) February 21, 2018
And while the severed heads got the most attention, the Cyborg exhibition featured plenty of other unusual sights. The exhibit took place in a mock surgical operating theater.
One model showed up with a third eye that was so realistic you might think it’s real.
Photo Credit: Reuters
Another model wore a full-body red cloak that looks like it came from The Handmaiden’s Tale.
The brand continued its tradition of using corporate logos for inspiration:
Since this was partly a winter collection, there was some unusual cold weather gear.
Maybe Michele thought his “Runway” show was really a “run away” show. That would explain this getup:
There were live reptiles.
This extremely practical hat:
And one very tired dragon.
All of this creativity is nice, and it appears to be paying off. The company expects double-digit growth this year. If that happens, our new favorite fashion accessory could very well be the freshly chopped heads of our enemies.