Gucci Exquisite takes on Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clock Work Orange’ and other films in a new campaign

August 27, 2022

Gucci Artistic Director, Alessandro Michele, unveils the latest campaign for Gucci Exquisite – a cinematic journey through the films of Stanley Kubrick.

Charmed by the cinema

Michele explains his inspiration in depth for the new campaign:

"I've always been charmed by cinema. For its power to tell stories that can probe human adventure and its drift. For its visionary power to dig up in the real, making it vertiginously imaginative and questionable. That's why I've always imagined my collections as films able to convey cinematography of the present: a score of eclectic and dissonant stories that can sacralize the human and its metamorphic ability."

Stanley Kubrick

"The 'Exquisite' campaign is my tribute to cinema and one of its brightest maestros, Stanley Kubrick. A philosophic filmmaker who, better than others, emanated the magic of that inextricable knot through which cinema exudes life and magnifies it. I've always admired Kubrick's remarkable capacity to tackle very different subjects. His experimental drive goes beyond any possible categorization. Every film digests the manifold souls where dystopia meets parody; the drama becomes human comedy, and horror looks like a psycho-philosophic treatise. The feeling of truth evolves into the uncanny. Kubrick was, in essence, a real sculptor of genres: the "cross-genre" director ahead of his time. His ability to build stories that exceed significance, crossing borders and setting labels on fire, has always been deeply inspiring to me."


"As an act of love, I decided to reinhabit Kubrick's films, pushing to the core this incendiary approach. I took the liberty of disassembling, blending, grafting, and reassembling them. Sticking to my creative praxis, I seized those movies, romanticized them, and populated them with my clothes. Trying to create short circuits where the Adidas gown, which had already lost its status of sportswear to become a Victorian costume, appears as a new character in the script of Barry Lyndon. The dress designed by Laura Whitcomb, wearing which Madonna grabbed the New York spotlight in the nineties, fits in the gothic scenes of The Shining."

The past explodes into the present

"The mysterious darkness of the enigmatic ritual of Eyes Wide Shut embraces venus in fur, embellished with sensual bourgeois pearls. And more, the 90s shoes with a fetish flavor explode through the frames of A Clockwork Orange. Finally, the dreamiest evening dress dangled in soft tulle ruches bursts into the aseptic and dystopian space of the Discovery One in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This situationist game mixes historical plans, references, and experiences. The past explodes into the present. Everything can become anything or something else. As in that famous scene of Kubrick's masterpiece, where the bone turns into a spaceship. As in life."

Nietzsche, Kant, and Freud

"With 'Exquisite' I carry on my attempt to mingle high and low, this time coherently and synergistically with the grammar of the great director. In the selected sequences, it feels like Nietzsche, Kant, and Freud speak casually to the people in the street. The biggest questions about the meaning of life become pop images. Complex transfigurations in terms of significance get immediate access in terms of experience. Everything comes to be iconic, symbolically sophisticated, though able to reflect on a culture we can identify as pop. I chose Kubrick also for this, after all. What he created is part of our collective imagination. Since he was a diviner of vision, his works are as recognizable as the Sistine Chapel, the Virgin of the Rocks, or The Simpsons. Manipulating his images inside a new semantic framework is like hacking La Gioconda. Plus, the inspiration and the empathy are only possible through the fictional cinematographic machine."

Change of state

"This involvement generates a change of state that is very significant for my job: clothes get closer to bare life again. They turn into the highly imaginative functional prosthesis, and they do so to tell a story. It is a story that shatters, enchants, tortures, and ignites because it's the story of the human that dwells in every one of us, as Stanley Kubrick knew too well. And also, Milena Canonero, a very dear friend of mine, accepted my invitation to go back over some of the scenes that hailed her as an undisputed star in the history of costume design. Her presence in this project is moving for me, a very precious gift."

'With thanks to University of the Arts London, home of the Stanley Kubrick Archive, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and the Stanley Kubrick Film Archives.’

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON, EYES WIDE SHUT, THE SHINING and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s22)