Designer Alessandro Michele presented Gucci‘s Fall Winter 2019.20 The Mask as a Cut Between Visible and Invisible Collection, inspired by the magic ambiguity of masks – the duality between exhibition and concealment, on Wednesday February 20th, during the ongoing Milan Fashion Week.
“Let me remind you of the etymological origin of the word ‘person’, which has been adopted almost unchanged from the Latin ‘persona’ by the European languages. ‘Persona’ originally referred to the actor’s mask that covered his individual ‘personal’ face and indicated to the spectator the role and the part of the actor in the play”. Hanna Arendt reminds us that we are persons when we choose the mask through which we appear on the world’s stage. We define our subjectivity and our ethical and political placement through this shared appearance scene. When we show ourselves on the public scene we reveal ourselves to each other in our plural identities. The visibility space therefore represents the condition of possibility of being together and, at the same time, different.
A certain metaphysical prejudice has always seen the mask as a concealment tool, something used to fake reality. Something that would make us irremediably inauthentic. But if by authenticity we mean the possibility to stick to the idea we have of ourselves, the mask becomes the means through which we can become what we feel we are. The mask, in fact, lets us show ourselves as we please and play our acting role as we think is best. It’s the possibility to choose how to exercise our freedom to show ourselves through a powerful filter that constantly selects what we want to share about us and what we want to conceal instead.“