In the little over four years that Alessandro Michele has been the creative director of Gucci, the enigmatic designer has won many hearts with his magpie-like ability to reap design elements from centuries past and remix them to create works that have a distinct vintage appeal and yet are entirely new. His Cruise 2020 collection for the Italian house is no exception. Ancient Roman togas and capes, and even retro Mickey Mouse motifs all make an appearance in an eclectic mash-up that, far from being confused, is undeniably Gucci. Look no further than this season’s favourite accessories, the 1955 Horsebit bag and leather platform sandals, for a quintessential taste of this stylish syncretism.
A reimagination of an archival style first introduced over six decades ago, the revived Gucci 1955 Horsebit takes on three fresh shapes – a shoulder bag, a bucket bag, and a messenger bag. As the name suggests, the double ring and bar Horsebit detail of the original is retained, and indeed it is the cornerstone of the new designs. One of the most enduring house codes, the story of the Horsebit begins with a young Guccio Gucci working at the Savoy hotel in London post-WWI, where he learnt the importance (and symbolism) of equestrian sports to the aristocracy, a lesson which he carried on into his eponymous brand.
The Gucci 1955 Horsebit shoulder bag showcases the Horsebit on the front as well as on the sides. With a boxy structure, gusseted interior, and adjustable leather strap, the bag comes in the instantly recognisable GG Supreme monogram canvas, or plain leather in timeless colours like black and red, as well as a special navy iteration with a velvet Web racer stripe.
The bucket bag is made distinctive by the contrast between a semi-rigid circular base and plush leather top, rounded off by a drawstring closure. Compact enough to be carried everywhere but spacious enough to store all the daily necessities, the design is also unusual enough to be a statement piece. Choose from muted monochrome shades or two-toned combinations in black-and-white and blue-and-red. Both the shoulder and bucket bags have been further developed in exotic skins like elaphe, ostrich, and crocodile.
Last but definitely not least, the brand new messenger shape puts a twist on the classic hobo, featuring a quadrate silhouette and knotted drawstring pull closure. Extremely functional thanks to its capacious size and luxuriant softness, this version is available in 4 colours of leather and 2 renditions of the Original GG Canvas. At a time when the accessories market is largely dominated by either micro mini bags or supersized styles, the Gucci 1955 Horsebit feels refreshingly approachable and down-to-earth, as if the girl next door got a Gucci makeover.
The Cruise 2020 collection has no shortage of lustworthy pieces, and this pair of leather platform sandals nearly beats them all. Striking and sublimely stylish, these shoes hit all the high notes: square-cut toes, wraparound ankle straps, block heels, and gold-edged uppers reminiscent of the furled wings of Greek goddess.