WHILE THE SS17 COLLECTIONS BURST INTO THE STORES, WE GO BACK TO ONE OF OUR FAVORITES: GUCCI'S SURREAL, ROMANTIC AND HOLLYWOOD GLAM SPRING SUMMER. AND WE EXPLORE THE WORK OF JAYDE FISH, THE ILLUSTRATOR WHO DESIGNED THE NEW GUCCI TAROT MOTIFS.
That between Californian artist Jayde Fish and florentine maison Gucci is like one of those happy-ending love stories you would expect to see while immersed in the dark of a picture house, not in real life. Yet, reality does sometimes exceed expectations.
Born in Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco in order to attend college, Jayde Fish is an illustrator with a clean and exquisite line, which earned her collaborations with some of the most renowned magazines, such as Vanity Fair, Elle and Vogue, and her works have been exhibited on the walls of many art galleries. Perhaps, though, the works that will most easily come to everyone’s mind will be the cute “stickers” she designed for Facebook. The Foxes, Prickly Pear Cactus and First Mate (the little sailor), are in fact among Fish’s creations and, along with a colourful panorama of more or less hipster characters and a flora made of palm trees and exotic plants, they form a composite yet harmonic picture.
Jayde Fish’s aesthetic is like a madeleine to be enjoyed to the hilt. It almost feels like dusting off an old trunk in the attic and rummage through forgotten postcards, old boxes and charming objects which smell like another era, more, like another dimension. Her vision is the result of a fascinating contamination of disparate ideas: it brings to mind the tenderness and the colour of children’s books, it embraces a vintage feeling and is imbued with cinematic references – to Wes Anderson in particular, but also to Japanese animation. Hers is the artwork “Fish’s Moving Castle”, a tribute to “Howl’s Moving Castle” now on display at the Spoke Gallery in San Francisco for the exhibition in honour of master Hayao Miyazaki.
Thanks to the collaboration with many fashion magazines, fashion itself quickly became a very fertile ground for inspiration. And within the shimmering sea of precious embroidery, vertiginous heels and brands with high-sounding names, Fish’s attention was captured by Alessandro Michele’s Gucci: baroque, sumptuous and contemporary, infused with quotes and artistic and literary references. The charming imagery that has captivated the fashion industry since 2015 up until now attracted her to the point of inspiring a series of illustrations the artist published on her Instagram account with the hashtag #AlessandroMichele, as if referencing an actual muse. Then the unexpected happened, a call from Gucci’s headquarter and, before even realising it, the catwalk immersed in the atmosphere of a fuchsia smoky boudoir unfolds in front of the world and the protagonists of the fashion house’s SS17 collection are just the characters designed by Jayde Fish.
Thus Gucci Tarot was born, a brand new series of motifs that, in the form of embroidery and prints, adorn pleated silk skirts and bomber jackets, sweaters and gowns, adding an even more eclectic touch to a collection which conjures up inspirations to 70s glam rock, Hollywood’s glossy charm and Renaissance Venice’s courtesans.
The inspiration comes from tarots and the occult, whose charm steeped in mystery has always flattered fashion and cinema. “I have a fascination with the mystical world, astronomy, astrology, and religious culture,” she explained in an interview. “I feel that the tarot is a beautiful way to think inwards about who you are and where you want to be. Each character has a deep connection with nature, the universe, and the spiritual world, and I feel there’s something very romantic about that.” And indeed, it is hard to think of an imagery that best marry the neo-romantic and surreal magic created by Alessandro Michele.