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At Gucci, A Melange of Beautiful Goths, Rockers And Chateau Marmont

With the cemetery of Promenade Des Alyscamp in Arles as the backdrop, Gucci showed its most haunting and unforgettable collection ever. In partnership with Gucci.

The deep hum of heavy bells bellow across the cemetery, punctuated by eerie ambient sounds of the night as smoke begins to fill the ancient space of stone, earth and bones. A line of fire creeps down the runway, as though splitting the ground into two. As the voices of a ghostly choir begin to swell in the darkness, a figure emerges out of the stone arch amid smoke and flames. It is at this moment that one realises: this is going to be a show unlike any you’ve ever seen and any you’ll ever see. Here, in Promenade Des Alyscamp in the French city of Arles, Gucci had transported all into an otherworld realm of its own making.

The said figure, clad in a pastel pink puffer jacket, a matching skirt, a satin pink bow, green tights and geeky glasses, was a sharp, unexpected contrast to the atmosphere. A likely deliberate move that seemed to say, “Yes, the gothic stuff will come, but we have plenty of wearable pieces that will fit right into your wardrobe as well.”

Indeed, Gucci’s Cruise 2019 was a mix of high drama and high functionality, opulent and street. If the ancient tombs surrounding the audience didn’t make the theme of death – and the macabre ways of deceased royals – clear enough, the clothes certainly did. There was a model with coiffed, towering red hair like the Virgin Queen sporting a black velvet dress that fell over one shoulder, followed not longer after by a fellow imagined royal in tight curls and a tiered dress of mixed retro florals, golden sceptre in hand. There was one with black lips, in a sheer dress of lace and embroidery and a wispy, smoke-like cape, another in a velvet dress that featured an insane embellishment shaped like a ribcage.

Amongst these were truly everyday clothes, made statements under Michele’s unconventional, talented eye. There were Gucci signatures such as the checks, printed skirt suits and pantsuits, garden florals, cardigans with contrast pipings, pussy bow blouses, Eastern accents and plenty of headgear, but there were also rock ‘n’ rollers in leather, neon, oversized blazers, tiger stripes, faux fur and very tight pants. The boys looked like a mix between Ducky from Pretty In Pink, early Jagger and maybe even Harry Styles.

A surprising amount of pink in varying intensities permeated the collection, perhaps a tongue-in-cheek divergence from the eeriness of the show, but even more surprising were the sequinned flapper like pieces close to the end that could inspire a string of looks on their own. A nod to red carpet glamour of the old perhaps? Many of the pieces did pay tribute to the iconic Chateau Marmont, the infamous hotel that was and still is the favoured stomping ground for Hollywood’s brightest glitterati.

There were many high points in the show, though none quite like the two Gucci “brides”. The first in an ethereal, fluttery, feathery dress worn with white sneakers. The second in an amalgamation of big ruffles, layers and a button placket running down the front, bouquet in hand. Both wore crucifixes tightly around their necks. Were they on the run from their intendeds, haunted by the brides that came before them? Were they forgotten and scorned at the altar? Were they on their way to pay their respects to a dearly departed lover? Now, here’s a story we want to hear.

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