There will be one story this fall and the author is Gucci. And the theme is essentially bonkers.
To be fair, this has been the theme from them all Summer as well - not to mention last A/W, but this year, it's well and truly anything goes.
Colour, print, texture, embellishment. It's Edina Monsoon on speed. If it goes together than it's not going to work. It has to clash. It has to be big and it has to be bold.
It is the antithesis of how I usually dress. But I absolutely love it.
To give you a visual idea - may I present Gucci pre fall and A/W 2016.
And then two looks from this Summer - although you would be forgiven for noticing absolutely zero difference between the two.. (or is that just me? My eyes are still adjusting...)
So this is a MASSIVE departure for me. Goodbye French chic, hello Italian cool.
Will I embrace it? I'd love to say yes. I feel also that you almost need to embrace it full on as the look only works if you dive in head first.
However I do think there is a slightly pared back version we can embrace, to eliminate the risk of someone asking you if you're wearing your outfit for a bet.
As I'm not sure I'll be able to go full on bonkers. That said, I think there has to be a half way house for those of us who want to feel the Gucci love but not get looks of pity from your kids.
I think it needs more than one item in your outfit. But it doesn't necessarily need be day glo colour. I think a texture plus a print is probably an easy way to recreate the look with a more sedate edge. I'm thinking Gucci does the Home Counties as opposed to the Kings Road or Milan.
And no one has given us more opportunity to recreate the Gucci look on a C&A budget than M&S.
Essentially you just walk into their Limited Edition section and squint and hey presto - you are in a Gucci wonderland.
Metallic Effect Jacquard A Line skirt from M&S was £35 now £21
And a metallic skirt to go with it?
Metallic Effect Pleated Skirt from M&S was £35 now £14
If metallic isn't your thing, how about a plain skirt that you could team with a print jumper? Even a black and white one...
The Effie Skirt from M&S was £39.50 now £25
Floral A Line skirt from M&S £25 Do not look at the styling pics online. I repeat - do not look at the styling online... Think of a black jumper or black pussy bow blouse, longline cardigan or slouchy trench and ankle boots.
From the faintly ridiculous to the so ridiculous it works skirt. So we've moved out of the trusted Limited Edition section and have wandered over to Per Una. Yes. Per Una. Trust me.
Floral Jacquard A line Skirt from Per Una was £49.50 now £24 Black pussybow blouse and gold sling back loafer style heels and I'm off. Or we need jumpers for during the day...and all the metallic or suede ankle boots.
Blouses are an easy Gucci add on. Make them bold, make them bright, wear them with something that clashes. The more it looks like your Nana would have worn it, the better. For a less eclectic vibe, I would team with a pair of denim culottes and statement shoes or boots with a more sedate blazer. Funnily enough, I think the M&S Ada blazer has the perfect off kilter 80s style vibe to it. If you managed to get hold of one... Or a trench. I am going to wearing a slouchy trench with everything.
Floral Shirt from M&S was £29.50 now £18
This. Just no words. How gorgeous? With a pleated black leather skirt and gold boots? I need gold boots Or gold loafers. Check. Winner winner chicken dinner (as the 7yr old would say. It was very cute the first time. 12334 times in a day - not so cute).
Loose Fit Long Sleeve Historical Blouse £39.50 Would you believe me if I told you it was from Per Una? SEEEEE. The perfect hem line for all A line skirts.
It's not often that you come across a top that makes you actually whoop out loud. This. Buy and put away. Or wear now. I am constantly being asked for tops to wear with skirts and culottes. My friends, I present you with the perfect bottom top. And it's Velvet. Massive Gucci tick.
Tailored Fit Long Sleeve Velvet Jumper with Merino Wool £35
We're basically just buying up Per Una. Embellished black and white breton anyone? Why I think I will for £45 and not £450. You can practically smell Milan, can't you?
Tailored Fit Cotton Blend Embellished Striped Jumper from M&S £45
Now I was going to start looking elsewhere but have been in awe of how much I've found at M&S.
Can't go though without including a couple of things that have been burning holes in my virtual basket from Topshop.
And this top which I saw, swerved and keep coming back to. It works on just so many levels for me. I have zero boobs to start with, so a frill over the melons isn't going to be an issue for me.
It's neutral - as in grey - whilst being completely out there and bonkers. It will work with jeans, leather joggers, leather a line skirts, pleated skirts, culottes - I don't think I can live without it.
Jersey Ruffle Sweatshirt from Topshop £30
Of course we can't leave without mentioning the loafers. Did I know they would bring out a gazillion copies as soon as I'd bought a pair of originals? (yes I am eye rolling here...) But to be fair (through gritted teeth), the ones that are out there are excellent.
And whilst I got the Gucci in classic red - it definitely makes sense to spend less on a more on trend colour, especially the metallics.
Metallic blue Karter Loafer £65. My heart actually beats faster looking at these, I'm sure.
Or the metallic pink.... again £65
And in the classic black...£62
So what do we think of the M&S and Topshop Gucci Edit? I appreciate there is LOADS more to explore. To be honest, we could all have a hay day in the charity shops although not as easy to do that on the sofa in my jamas drinking wine... oh how hard was shopping pre internet?!
You may notice that it's all rather A/W focussed. Which, given the current weather (I can't NOT mention it seeing as it's freezing and pouring with rain and is supposed to be JULY!), isn't such a foolish call. Are you planning on channeling the Gucci vibe in any way, shape or form next season? Or now...?
Speaking of dressing for next season, here I am today. Not an iota of Gucci inspiration here but in an outfit that I had expected to be wearing in October... albeit without the sandals. Which must be four or five years old now. From.. Clarks! Chloe eat your heart out.
Black lyocell tee - & Other Stories
Khaki Industrial Pants - Current/Elliott at Quattro Rish
Camel trench - Zara
Tan strap sandals - Clarks
Necklaces - Chambers & Beau
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe
Have I slightly lost my tiny mind? Are you eyes hurting from the above? Would love to know your thoughts and any hints of which direction you're heading for A/W16.