While his previous shows have been in dark, underground venues, Alessandro Michele airlifted 400 guests to Arles in the South of France to worship at the feet of his fiery new Resort collection.
The Alyscamps, the graveyard Michele chose to showcase his Resort 2019 collection, was a fashionable place to visit in the 1700s where many artists found inspiration. Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin would paint together there, while Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s work was inspired by the spooky garden. While the clothes featured intricate embroideries of verses from Dante’s poems, they also featured embroideries of obscure references to local history, which included some of the city’s former names including Gallula Roma and Urbs Genesii.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele hosted his Resort 2019 show in the Alyscamps burial ground outside the city walls of Arles, in the South of France. While the garden was lined with the stone sarcophagi of the Roman rules that once occupied the city, somber music filled the air and a line of fire coursed along the runway amplifying Michele’s mood of paying homage to past civilizations, death and the afterlife.
THE GUEST LIST
As night fell, guests including Saoirse Ronan, Gia Coppola, Petra Collins, A$AP Rocky, Salma Hayek and Christian Lacroix took their seat on modern mirrored cubes. The show began shortly after a spectacular line of fire ignited down the central alleyway.
Michele mixed up and played around with all of his brand signatures across 114 looks for both men and women. Plaid skirts, floral silk prints, tiger patterns, velvet dresses and embroidered capes all emerged from the fog of the runway evoking a mood of seventies Victoriana. Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin, French print makers who work under the name Antoinette Poisson and draw inspiration from 18th century interiors, provided print designs in the collection.
Frank Olive, a New York-based milliner who has designed for Oscar de la Renta and Diana Ross, provided feathered hats while bags had a new tiger motif, the work of designer Hattie Carnegie who designed decorative hats and jewelry throughout the 1920s to the 1950s.
THE SOUND TRACK
The sound of church bells and owls greeted guests as they arrived. Adding to the clouds of smoke and rows of spooky church candles bathing the open-air space in a Gothic splendor, the haunting soundtrack of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers for the Blessed Virgin” added to the somber mood as the models wafted down the runway.
Michele introduced “a close friend” of his, Elton John, to play a surprise gig at the after party that went well into the early hours of the morning. The two will continue their bromance as the Gucci creative director is also designing John’s upcoming, three-year, 300-show Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour that will end in 2021.
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