Fashion Week

Gucci Cruise 2019: A Collection to Die For

Gucci goes goth with Alessandro Michele's afterlife-inspired ensembles.
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Typically, cruise collections are designed to fit holiday wardrobes, often featuring a range of easy, breezy garments that are meant to be packed and whisked away to wherever in the world you choose to travel to. This was certainly the case at Louis Vuitton and Dior, but over at Gucci, models were dressed for a trip to a realm that is not marked on any map: the afterlife. Once again, Alessandro Michele has pulled out all the stops for a one-of-a-kind Cruise 2019 show — starting with an infernal location. 

The show was set in a burning cemetery.
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More specifically, it was staged in Alyscamps, an ancient Roman graveyard in Arles. Filled with the ominous echoes of Gregorian chants and lit by rows of church candles, the runway was engulfed in smoke, out of which the models emerged like apparitions — well-dressed ones, of course.

 

The cemetery made for more than just a spooky backdrop, though: symbols of flames and flowers taken from the graves were transplanted onto leather backpacks. (You know, in case you ever feel like carrying reminders of the dead with you. Speaking of...)

The message of the collection? Memento mori.

Latin for "remember that you must die," the saying aptly describes the mood of Michele's macabre collection. (One model even wore a pair of black pants that boldly featured the ominous phrase.)

 

Describing the collection, Michele said, "It's the idea of death as fascination." And, indeed, death was everywhere: models clutched funereal bouquets of wilted flowers as they sombrely marched past, with passages about the afterlife from Dante's The Divine Comedy embroidered onto their clothes.

 

Michele had looked to the ossuary as an inspiration, and one model's dress nodded more pointedly to that with an ornate, embroidered ribcage on its front. Guess it's safe to say "bury us in Gucci?"

There were hints of Catholicism and religion...

Death and religion go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense why the collection was rife with holy references, very much like this year's costumes at the Met Gala

 

As models made their way out of the Medieval Church of Saint Honoratus and onto the runway, some of them held rosaries in their hands. The cross was also the centrepiece of countless glittering earrings, brooches and necklaces. 

 

There were also models dressed in their Sunday best with embroidered coats and capes inspired by liturgical vestments, the sacred attire of Catholic priests.

... and a collaboration with the Chateau Marmont.

After appropriating the iconic SEGA logo for the "GUCCY" print a couple of seasons ago and then plastering the Paramount and Yankees logos all over sweaters for Fall/Winter 2018, Alessandro Michele has found a new logo fixation — that of the legendary Chateau Marmont. The Los Angeles hotel is said to be haunted by one of its former guests, which makes its logo the perfect decoration for the bags and sweaters of Michele's death-obsessed collection.

 

Elsewhere, Gucci's double G hardware appeared on new bag designs, including one made of ostrich leather. There's also a nifty new tote bag with pockets on the front meant for storing your Gucci Princetown slippers. Exactly what we needed.

The show was closed by a Victorian bride.

What's the best way to close a show with 114 looks (yes, you read that right) of sweeping velvet dresses, plaid skirts, patterned suits, silk blouses, neon tights, embellished jackets, billowing capes, logo-emblazoned bags and countless other ornate decorations? 

 

Apparently, with an extravagant, 19th century-style wedding gown, which was perhaps Alessandro Michele's way of ending a show where morbid themes abound on a hopeful note. (That is, if you ignore the model's headdress, which resembles the eerie death masks worn by plague doctors of the past.)

Discover the entire Gucci Cruise 2019 collection below:

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