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If Alessandro Michele expanded Gucci’s universe through other galaxies and sci-fi movies from the ‘50s and ‘60s last season, for the upcoming one his love for the surreal and otherworldly continues to be the main source of inspiration. For the Spring/Summer 2018 campaign, titled Utopian Fantasy, the Italian brand has teamed up with Ignasi Monreal, a digital illustrator based in Barcelona whose work takes us to a journey from The Garden of Earthly Delights to surreal scenes starring mermaids, enchanted gardens and fashionistas sitting on clouds. 

Even though photography – and a wonderful team of stylists and make up artists – can produce the most fantasy-like images one can possibly imagine, there’s nothing like illustration to create a world from scratch where anything can be possible. And that’s why Gucci has switched cameras for graphic tablets for its newest campaign, putting Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal in charge of the imagery that from January 2018 will invade shop windows and pages of glossy magazines.

The result has turned out to be a mix of images mixing art history with newly invented situations. On the one hand, Monreal has reinterpreted John Everet Millais’ Ophelia wearing a dress of golden paillettes and Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of the Earthly Delights populated by several people rocking luxurious kimonos, capes, and suits, reinforcing the bond between Gucci and art history references. And on the other hand, the illustrator has created from zero a handful of scenes that depict mermaids in sheer dresses and monogram handbags checking their smartphones, a sphinx with tiger body and the face of a woman mainly covered by a pair of white mask-like sunglasses, or a female trio fashionably sitting on a cloud while fishing planes. 

Arnau Salvadó

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