The Westminster Abbey has played host to some of Britain's most historic events. While most of them have been royal weddings and coronations, the most recent proceeding of note to take place within the walls of the iconic structure was the Gucci Cruise 2017 show – the first fashion event to take place on the church grounds.
An unprecedented feat, the show was easily one of the best of the year (thus far) and L'Officiel Malaysia's managing editor Monica Mong (@mongnica) was there to experience it all.
She takes you through the entire experience from the runway to the after-party.
1) The venue: The Cloisters of Westminster Abbey
Monica says: “This was the first time the 700-year-old church played host to a fashion show. The last fashion-related affair that occurred within the grounds was when Kate Middleton wed Prince William in a custom Alexander McQueen gown – does that count? The show wasn’t held within Westminster Abbey per se. We were actually sat in the cold semi-outdoors in The Cloisters. But it was worth it!”
2) The embroidered pillows on every seat
Monica says: “The tasseled velvet and tapestry pillows on the seats were embroidered with flora and fauna motifs – a signature that Alessandro Michele introduced in his first collection for Gucci. The motifs were also patched onto almost everything in this collection – a fantastic touch to kickstart the day with Gucci!”
3) A stereoscope as the invitation
Monica says: "We were pleasantly surprised when our invite to the show arrived in the form of a foldable stereoscope. With it, we got a preview of the Westminister Abbey’s interior.”
4) Going acid on denim
Monica says: “Denim takes centre stage in the Cruise collection, making appearances as studded jackets and jeans with animal patchworks. A new direction and a new image that are sure to be a hit with consumers. Plus, what’s not to love about denim? It is easily one of the most wearable classics in our wardrobe – and now comes with a glamorous touch of Gucci.”
5) The collection: When the Brits meet Moda Italia
Monica says: “The collection pings nimbly between eras and moods. In particular, we love the touch of the "granny" aesthetic mixed with the contemporary attitude of the Gucci cool-kid. The result: delicate florals and flowing silhouettes with streetwear muscle. It's clear that Alessandro has taken a lighthearted approach to England’s fashion legacy by incorporating punk culture, Scottish heritage, a tinge of Victorian elegance and even Staffordshire dog figurines into his nerdish, retro-tinged Italian fashion universe."
6) The coolest extras
Monica says: “Like the clothes, the accessories adopted the same aesthetic. My faves: the Union Jack shoes and granny-style flip sunglasses. They totally bring retro to a whole new level! Another hit: the rainbow-striped platform shoes to mark one of the most controversial happenings in the UK recently – #LoveWins.”
7) The party at Piccadilly
Monica says: "To top off the spectacular show, we were escorted to Gucci’s after party at 106 Piccadilly. Each of the three floors had a DJ, and the star-studded affair saw the attendance of personalities including Alexa Chung, Phoebe Collings-James, Bel Powley, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Casiraghi, Georgia May Jagger, Rila Fukushima and Chris Lee. The highlight of the evening: a special performance by Annie Lenox, and sets by DJs Wolf and Lamb.”
8) Touring the Westminster Abbey
Monica says: “Before the show, Gucci closed off Westminister Abbey to give members of the press a private viewing of the church. It was awe-inspiring standing inside the building and taking in the impressive architecture without the presence of the usual tourist hoards.”
This story was first published on L'Officiel Malaysia.