Alessandro Michele opted to show Gucci’s cruise 2017 collection in London in Westminster Abbey. Interestingly enough, this show was the first ever to be held in the Gothic church, with the stage itself being held basically within arm’s reach of the main church, which just so happens to be where greats like Aphra Behn, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Lewis Carroll are buried. The large church, to put into perspective, was the location for Queen Elizabeth II’s (and other monarchs’) crowning, the funeral of Princess Diana, and the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton; now Michele is having Gucci join those ranks – well, sort of.
The setting of the Gucci resort 2017 show was actually in the church’s cloisters, which is a breath away from the main church, and featured animal-embroidered needlepoint cushions (think cats, snakes, and tigers) over the church pews, which made for a comfier experience for the rather large resort wear showing. Celebrities like Bel Powley and Elle Fanning were in attendance, with the mood being set by Schola Cantorum’s soundtrack playing “Scarborough Fair.” From there, the expansive collection was all set to hit the runway, featuring both womenswear and menswear.
Vogue caught up with Michele and asked about his choice of setting a cruise show in London, of all placed, to which he had a very enthusiastic response. Gesturing to the vaulted roof, he exclaimed, “To dive in this gothic sea of inspiration! The punk, the Victorian, the eccentric – with this inspiration, I can work all my life!”
He showed his intent to work with the inspiration by sending down a grand total of 94 looks down the runway, each with a plethora of embellishments and fine details relating to an inspiration source of youth culture in the Britain; some looks were more literal than others.
There was no real rhyme or reason to the collection; prints were different and diverse, and traditional cohesion went right out the door, with the only binding element being Michele’s clear design aesthetic, and the fact that all of the clothes were off the wall in some way, bringing in cohesion from the chaos. Starting the show off on a high, quirky note was a women’s cat ensemble. A striped sweater with a feline printed on it was paired with a yellow tartan skirt with another embellished cat right on the front. Paired with a more-than-generous amount of accessories, the “crazy cat lady” vibe has never been quite so chic and fun.
Inspiration sources seemed to span across many different eras, with traditional tartan, ’60s skirts, ’70s dresses, silk dresses that were abundant between the ’70s and ’90s – and that’s only to name a few. Within each style era present were many different styles for different people. It seems that Michele couldn’t stick with one idea, so he settled on all of them.
Regardless of the wonderfully chaotic presentation, all of the clothes were immaculate in the classic Gucci Italian style. Even amid the wild British inspirations present, Michele was able to stand out with his own touches, like animal embroideries, bombers characterized by their glitter, fabulous embroidered handbags, and all the way down to loafers studded with pearls.
The Gucci cruise 2017 show became a celebration of great moments in the fashion history: across the eras and for Michele himself. Even when the clothes were totally dated, like a ruffled pink Victorian period dress, he brought in elements to keep the whole ensemble relevant; in this case, it was a pair of cool cat shades, pinched black cuffs to the dress, and oversized rings. So even though many of his inspiration sources with clear reiterations aren’t exactly relevant in fashion today, he managed to pull them up as such for this presentation.
It is difficult to condense this show down to a brief synopsis, but for the most part, the clothes speak for themselves. Just by scrolling through the large number of menswear and womenswear options put on display you are told a story of the past and present of British fashion, and how it can translate around the world.
Photos courtesy of Vogue