Patch-embellished, hand-customised denim have been percolating as a trend for a while no. But no one owns the idea quite like Alessandro Michele.
Gucci's hit-making helmsman ushered in the era of 'more is more' era when he was appointed Creative Director in 2015 and, five seasons on, we're still captivated by his riotous, unmatchable take on maximalism — replete with bold shapes, flamboyant frills and elaborate flora, fauna and tiger embroidery.
If his popular horsebit loafers are the gateway to Michele's world, Gucci's customised denim is the holy grail. Those jackets you've been seeing on the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé and Cara Delevingne are yours to make your own with the addition of the brand's epic collection of now-cult patches featuring everything from snakes to bees.
'This collection is dedicated to those women and men who are in love with their wardrobe and who like to wear unique things,' says Michele of the Gucci DIY denim service, which customised this jacket exclusively for ELLE.
'I wanted to give my customers something slightly different, to allow them to have some little acts of freedom while wearing Gucci.' Made from Japanese denim and available in two washes, two fits and with two lining options, the jackets come with elaborate embroidery and single-letter monogramming. Essentially, they're works of art, with rustic denim as canvas, making for beautifully ornate pieces that are hard-wearing enough for day to day. As Michele puts it: 'This is the power of fashion: the capability of allowing people to express themselves.'
By the numbers:
£3,550: the starting price for Gucci's unique denim jacket customisation service
140: hours of workmanship that goes into a single jacket (not including the shearling option, that takes even longer)
2: the number of washes available - light blue bleach-washed denim and dark blue super-stonewashed denim
8,000,000: the amount of times a video of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy wearing matching customised Gucci denim jackets has been viewed on Instagram
14: the weight in ounces of the Japanese denim used to craft Gucci's denim jackets
2: the choice of luxurious fabrics for your jacket lining - either eagle-print silk or shearling
53,629: the number of Instagram 'likes' for a picture of Florence Welch in her customised Gucci denim jacket, made for her 'How Beautiful' world tour