“It’s the idea of death as fascination.”
Such was Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s description of the fashion house’s Cruise 2019 show. In Arles, France this past spring, in an old Roman necropolis called Alyscamps (a Unesco World Heritage Site that has served as Arles’ primary burial ground for nearly 1,500 years), the show was held on a moonlit night. An eerie darkness had fallen over the tombs and sarcophagi, as well as the leafy, rustling grounds; Gucci, however, had elaborate plans for lighting its runway.
Iron candelabras and flames illuminated the Promenade. The models, wearing 114 different looks, walked astride that fiery line bedecked in motifs of death iconography. One model, in a not-so-subtle nod to the thème de la nuit, sported a pair of pants bearing the message: MOMENTO MORI.
Of the many visual details found throughout the collection, a few in particular stood out:
A monochrome use of the colour pink — a pale, muted, dusty rose.
In keeping with the conceptual exploration of death, a gothic representation of the cross was apparent again and again, be it in the form of a broach, large earrings, necklaces, chokers, or simply carried by one model like a tertiary accessory — er, rosary:
Further establishing those gothic vibes was a heavy use of black, be it in the form of classic silhouettes from decades past or gauzy, futuristic pieces.
We saw a bold, large-print usage of floral patterns in multiple colour palettes.
We saw plaid in some truly fabulous, professional pieces.
We saw some stunning hats, decorated with everything from veils and embroidery to long, side-swept feathers.
We saw pieces that would be fitting in the bridal party of an eighteenth-century wedding, complete with lush bouquets hanging limply from the models’ hands. (Flowers were a heavy motif of the night, no doubt due to their historic association with death rituals.)
We saw plenty of sunglasses, as would befit a cruise collection, but most notable amongst these were two-tone sunglasses in a very yin/yang black and white:
And, of course, the collection wouldn’t have been complete without that classic linking Gucci pattern, present on luggage, jackets, pants, and more.
To check out the full collection, visit the Gucci site.
Images via Gucci.