Style

How House of Gucci Proves Epic Style is All About the Accessories

A collective gasp was heard time zone by time zone when the photo of Adam Driver and Lady Gaga on the set of House of Gucci (2021) dropped. Or this is what I gathered from Twitter and a personal case of light-headedness. Regardless of whether you remember where you were on March 9, two things emerged clear:

  1. Adam’s Driver’s wardrobe in House of Gucci is going to be unreal.
  2. We’re going to have to emulate the effortlessly cool vibe of 1980s Italy to even have a chance of looking relevant this fall.

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House of Gucci promo photo of Adam Driver and Lady Gaga in ski attire

Since March 9, I’ve looked at this photo many, many times. They’re both so…beautiful! The snowy valley behind them is positively cinematic; they look comfortable yet stylish in the winter weather, which speaks to something deep within my East Coast upbringing. What really hit home for me after studying two hot, well-dressed people is that, objectively, their clothes are quite simple. Adam Driver is wearing a cable knit sweater and white snowsuit. There’s not a pattern or primary color to be found. Sure, the snowsuit is the purest white I’ve ever seen and likely costs as much as one month’s rent — but it’s simple. Even Lady Gaga’s outfit is plain compared to what we’re accustomed to seeing her wear in literally any publicity photo. Even a sponsored post on Instagram shot haphazardly next to her pool is styled within a pixel of its life. So why did this photo whip people into a frenzy around the world, specifically over their looks? It’s all about the accessories.

The Real Star: Accessories

For some folks, the word “accessories” drums up images of a Claire’s with racks upon racks of earrings, necklaces, ribbons, bows, and a lot of small embellishments that don’t necessarily read as “sophisticated man of leisure.” But accessories are integral to a wardrobe regardless of gender. Would punks have looked as hard in the ‘70s without safety pins or studs on their gear? Tony Manero would have been in shambles without his gold chain in Saturday Night Fever. Every decade has its mood board and by now, we can easily pinpoint the garments that are the hallmark of those eras. However, the underlying truth in every decade is that if you want to step up your ensemble, you need some accessories.

Back to Adam Driver: What’s the embellishment? What’s the statement piece (beyond the face, the hair, and the dinner plate pecs we know are nestled underneath all that wool)? If you haven’t surmised by now, it’s his aviator eyeglasses. They’re so big. He already has a face that says, “look at me, I’m handsome, I deserve it,” but framed with these eyeglasses it’s a one-two punch, face and body shots. I shouldn’t be surprised the glasses make such an impact. The aviator shape has been popular and sought after since it was first introduced in the 1930s. They were developed in the United States for use by military pilots, and if that wasn’t obvious from the name, you’re clearly a fan of a fine cocktail first and fashion second. The unique shape was developed to provide pilots the maximum amount of sun coverage while being worn under their helmet in flight. It speaks to the quality of the design that I’m still fascinated and writing about them in 2021.

The underlying truth in every decade is that if you want to step up your ensemble, you need some accessories.

My first encounter with aviators was in Top Gun (1985), a movie that made me think dressing like a pilot in training was an appropriate alternative to a suit at a formal event. To this day, I don’t think there’s a better combination of a bomber jacket and aviators. After many years in the realm of sunglasses, the aviator shape found its way into the world of optometry. I raise a drink to whomever decided these frames could be used for everyday eyeglasses because finding a fashionable frame is a lengthy, often defeating process (and one I’ve lived since the age of 11 when the arms of my first pair of eyeglasses looked like a Western belt).

The Conversation of Contrast

Adam’s Photo (how I now refer to it), also brings up the conversation of contrast. Famously, the 1980s are about excess, and we’ve all seen enough movies to understand that concept. Of course, those movies are generally saturated with neon, sports cars, designer drugs, hyper-clashing patterns, and (just to stay on topic) enormous eyeglasses. But House of Gucci is, of course, going to showcase the more subdued side of 1980s fashion. We’re going to see the wardrobe of the elite, the ultra wealthy, the people who looked at our neon and chalk graffiti shirts and said, “hmm, a bit busy.”

Where these people went off the rails were with the accessories, and so we point to Adam’s glasses, and to Lady Gaga’s festoonment of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and a belt that could also be safety rigging equipment. It’s all hitting for me.

I think our lesson learned here is that we all have great pieces in our closets that can be dressed up with the right selection of accessories. To help with this, I’ve glossed the shops online and created three capsules: one exclusively Gucci because why not, one inspired by some Warby Parker frames, and a final, more West Coast casual. 

No matter your style or budget, accessories can elevate your outfit from meh to a  whiplash-inducing head-turn, and this promo shot has definitely proven that. For more inspiration, check out our collections of best aviator sunglasses, jackets and casual shoes.

All Gucci, All Day

Warby Parker Inspired

West Coast Casual

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