Rock has always been the genre of rebellion. Originating in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s from black musical genres such as R&B and gospel, he challenged societal norms from the start. Early rockers such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry angered censors and social conservatives of the 1950s and 1960s who abhorred their overtly promiscuous dance moves and blatant sexual undertones in their lyrics. Likewise, bands like The Beatles and The Doors contributed several anthems to the Counterculture movement and, through their music, glorified anti-establishment themes of pacifism and drug use.
Later, several groups including AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith carried this spirit of rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s by advocating a lifestyle of pure hedonism and sexual freedom. And, as we know, the 1990s brought with them the popularity of grunge rock which, with the help of bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, tackled controversial topics such as social isolation, psychological trauma and the desire to break free from the mainstream world.
Now, today’s rock has taken on a new character of rebellion and Gucci has helped to help today’s rock stars communicate this new image. Specifically, it would appear that many of today’s rock artists have turned against gender norms and are actively rebelling against traditional ideas about gender through their music and appearance. Gucci, under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, is characterized primarily by its flamboyance, regardless of the gender assigned to the garment. Feathers, vibrant hues and voluminous silhouettes notoriously figured heavily and unanimously during Michele’s tenure, and their indiscriminate use came to represent a fashionable “fuck you” to gendered dressing. So, it’s no surprise that Gucci has taken an obvious liking to the mission of today’s rockers and outfitted these musicians with the proper attire to help them get their message across.
The most notable contemporary rock star to be dressed by Michele and the Gucci team is, of course, Harry Styles. Over the past two years, the Gucci/Styles partnership has resulted in several iconic and jaw-dropping looks. However, more than that, he has seen Styles, on more than one occasion, in outfits that go against the traditional gender grain. For example, at the 2019 Met Gala, the British rocker arrived in high-waisted pants, a sheer pussy-bow blouse and patent leather heeled boots.
Then, at Brits 2020, he wore a simple brown suit, accessorized with a conventionally feminine peter pan collar, Mary Jane shoes and a pearl necklace. The piece de resistance of Styles’ flowing attire made by Gucci is undoubtedly his Halloween 2021 costume, which he wore to a concert for his “Love On Tour” tour, which saw him dressed as Dorothy from the beloved 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Her ensemble included a blue gingham mini dress with an empire waist and puff sleeves, red tights, a blue gingham bow in her har and shimmering ruby red slippers.
Miley Cyrus is another modern rocker who has made Gucci a staple in her wardrobe. A spokesperson for the brand’s Gucci Flora fragrance, she recently wore a white suit from the Gucci Aria collection featuring the house’s signature floral Flora print at the 2021 LACMA Gala. Just before, while performing at the festival at the 2021 Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago, Cyrus wore a red stoned Gucci romper and matching belt and silver stoned go go boots.
Even some of the rock scene’s freshest faces have embraced Michele’s Gucci as a mechanism to express their disregard for gender norms. This would, of course, include Måneskin, the beloved Italian band who emerged victorious in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. Since their victory, the band have been seen wearing Gucci in their performances, red carpet appearances and music videos. . One such occasion saw the four donning the same black costume, paired with bold and sultry eye makeup, which, despite its outward simplicity, underscored the band’s commitment to fluid dressing. However, their most notable appearance in terms of fashion was at the 2021 MTV EMAs. Much of this was due to lead singer Damiano David wearing an extremely sexy Gucci ensemble, consisting of a sheer collared shirt, d lace panties, rhinestone cod, black PVC opera gloves and black PVC thigh high boots. A stereotypical “feminine” look, David pulled it off with ease.
Perhaps the most legendary rocker to become a devoted customer and representative of Michele’s Gucci is none other than the Rocket Man himself, Sir Elton John. Although not part of the “new” generation of rock stars, John has been committed to destroying gender norms through his music and his wardrobe throughout his career. From her white feathered Marie-Antoinette ensemble for her 50th birthdayand birthday party in 1997, to his sequined rendition of the LA Dodgers uniform for his sold-out 1975 concert at Dodger’s Stadium, there’s no denying that he and today’s Gucci are a perfect match not only in terms of aesthetics, but also of feeling. This can easily be seen in the bedazzled purple suit John donned at the 2020 Oscars, as well as his floral jacket with the words “Gucci Loves Elton,” which he wore for his farewell tour.
It’s no secret that Michele’s Gucci has gained extreme universal popularity and notoriety for its campy, outrageous and free-flowing character. However, it has become particularly prominent within the rock community among the new generation of artists in the genre who do not wish their identity to be contained within the confines of the genre and the cultural conventions that come with it. So if rock is the music of rebellion, then Gucci, his new favorite brand, has arguably become the home of rebellion.