It seemed like the most inspiring, exciting collection to come out of the recent spring/summer shows of 2016 was Gucci. It was the general vibe that the shows and campaign emanated that showed a Gucci like never before. And of course the clothes were equally as brilliant and a personal obsession for me as I now want just about every item. But more than the clothes, the campaign captured my full attention. The spring/summer film by Glen Luchford, featured the song ‘Goodbye Horses’ by Q Lazzarus, and reeled in youthful energy. It was the perfect amalgamation of music and fashion.
The song is somewhat of a cult classic, and the same goes for the basis of the campaigns direction. It’s based on the 1981 film ‘Christian F’ which follows the story of teenage heroine junkies in Berlin. The scenes in the campaign reflect similar scenes from the film, of kids running through a mall to the David Bowie song ‘Heroes’. Of course with far more flamboyant, luxurious gear than the kind these German teenagers were used to.
But what of the song? The song set the scene for the campaign so successfully, and hearing the intro immediately got me eager for what was about to unfold. It’s a song I always stick on at a party, and one I’m dying to have on vinyl, and although its perhaps very popular in that culty sort of way, it kinda got lost in the grand scheme of things.
Many know it as the song playing in Silence of the Lambs, when Buffalo Bill does his creepy, half naked dance scene. But even watching the film, you could have easily missed the great new wave triumph that takes place.
A band called Psyche covered the song, which was originally released in 1988 by Q Lazzarus, produced and written by William Garvey. Psyche released an article on their site stating the true meaning of the song as explained by Garvey. In Eastern philosophy, horses are symbolic of the 5 senses, which are the 5 things that keep us connected to our physical state of being. The idea of leaving the horses behind, or freeing yourself from the horses i.e. “goodbye horses”, means that you have reached a higher state of consciousness, a consciousness not bound by our senses. And so the song is about someone that has experienced some sort of loss, and is freeing themselves from the their emotions.
The Huffington post wrote an article on the fact that the reference to ‘Christian F’, could be slightly risky as it potentially tries to bring back the ‘coolness’ of heroine chic. This then sends a ‘drugs are cool’ message which also could be linked back to the song, the idea of escaping the current state of emotional distress perhaps with the use of narcotics.
These little nuaces make for a more interesting campaign though, and it’s certainly safe to say that Alessandro Michele is not trying to promote shooting up in bathroom cubicles. The campaign references the freedom, youthfulness and escape of the scenes from the Christian F ‘Heroes’ video. The film succeeds in making every young fashion follower feel shimmery green with envy of the group that makes Gucci look effortlessly cool. And what better way to reach the heart of the cool kids than through a cult classic.