The spoiler happened on the evening of the MET Gala, when Alessandro Michele, Gucci designer, introduced himself along with Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey, dressed with sacred vestments, crosses, feathers and religious symbols. But the theme of the party, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Church, had led to an isolated episode.
The place chosen for the Gucci Cruise 2019 fashion show should have raised suspicion: those Alyscamps of Arles, the Elysian Fields born as Roman necropolis which then became burial grounds and Christian cults, also mentioned in Dante’s Inferno. And here, our two clues come together, and the new Cruise 2019 collection, which began on May 31 among candles, fires and smoke, accompanied by the Vespro della Beata Vergine, by Claudio Monteverdi, carries the theme of death and all that is sacred.
Colours, prints, ’70s aesthetic merged with that of the’ 80s and ’90s, sequins, frills and over-loaded with accessories: Michele’s aesthetics are pervasive as ever, but the references to Victorian widows, religious symbols, bunches of flowers in the hands of the models, funeral velvets, brocades from sacred vestments all create a rundown of characters, rather than a show of clothes.
114 opulent catwalks, along a path marked by a blade of fire, flanked by stone sarcophagi and immersed in fog, coloured by the showlights, for a show that, once again, redefines the concept of fashion.