Suzy Menkes interviews Alessandro Michele, Madonna’s new costume designer for the Rebel Heart tour.

“It’s like you’re in a temple, going to meet the goddess, and then you discover that the goddess is a big perfectionist and an incredible woman,” said Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, about how he met Madonna in rehearsal in New York.

“She is tiny and beautiful,” Alessandro continued. “The thing I really loved about her was her eyes – the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen; super green-blue eyes – I think she must have had the same eyes since she was six years old!”

The passionate designer, who has rocked Gucci with his magpie spirit, mixing inspirations from decades and centuries past, was spotted by über-stylist Arianne Phillips as new fashion blood for the Material Girl’s “Rebel Heart” world tour.

Full disclosure: I was the person who suggested to Arianne at Prada’s “Iconoclast” exhibition in London in February that Alessandro could create a new romantic look for Madonna.

“Essentially, my job is to be an editor for Madonna,” Arianne said, whose list of designers to dress the tour includes Jeremy Scott at Moschino, Prada’s Miu Miu, Fausto Puglisi and Alexander Wang. But she was eager to include Gucci’s Alessandro.

“I became entranced by his return to craft, the personal and feminine aspects that he has brought into his embellishment to the austere, slick Gucci,” Arianne said. “It was like a return to beauty and incredibly inspiring.”

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