Free To Be: Gucci’s Cruise 2020 Collection
Gucci Cruise collections have taken us to many historic Italian cities—with last year’s fire-lined runway in Arles and the year before in Florence at the Palatine gallery of the Palazzo Pitti. It was only a matter of time before Alessandro Michele returned to his hometown of Rome to host a Gucci show.
Guests from all over the world headed to the Italian couple a few days before the show to explore all the city had to offer. Show invitations were not traditionally sent to the hotels, but rather, show-goers would visit a library (Antica Libreria Cascianelli) to personally collect the invitations. These were meticulously hand-wrapped vintage books, with the brand’s name and show location stamped on the cover page.
Alessandro’s fascination for the old world knows no boundaries, which is perhaps why he selected the Capitoline Museums for the show venue. It is, after all, Rome’s oldest museum, with halls lined with marble statues and busts of ancient Gods and deities.
While Michele paid tribute to ancient Roman attire by topping tailored suits with toga-like draping and wrapped column-shaped silk dresses left sweeping the floor as the models sped down the museum halls, it was the notion of freedom and self-expression that struck a chord with the audience.
Graphics from this season were nostalgic and purposeful: Mickey Mouse, a favourite of Alessandro’s that has appeared across several seasons made a heartwarming return on cropped t-shirts and leather goods. A logo created by MP5, a Roman artist commissioned by Michele, fused the label’s interlocking G’s and the Chime for Change logo together.
Chime for Change, a NGO that supports projects relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as maternal health on a global scale, is a cause Gucci has gotten behind for several years, which comes at an appropriate time when you can’t listen to the news without the rising concerns over abortion laws in parts of the United States.
Brocade suit jackets, emblazoned with the words “My Body, My Choice” made a bold pro-choice statement, while silk dresses were embroidered with the female reproductive organs accented with flowers were a testament to Michele’s unwavering stance towards freedom, equality and self-expression.
The silhouettes Michele gravitated towards harked back to the '70s era, an important period for women’s rights both on a global and local scale.
“It’s unbelievable that around the world there are still people who believe that they can control a woman’s body, a woman’s choice. I will always stand behind the freedom of being, always” the creative director shared with WWD prior to the show.
What Gucci does so well with its collections, and translates in a holistic way, is its inclusivity. Just a walk through the pre-show cocktail, and you will see people, of all different ages, body sizes and backgrounds dressed in Gucci, and there is something different for everyone.
Legendary singer Elton John wore a high-octane smoking jacket with fringes and epaulette detailing at the chest, pocket, sleeves and back, while Harry Styles (the face of the house’s Pre-Fall 2019 men’s tailoring campaign) opted for a cream coloured suit with matching wide legged-trousers.
Rapper A$AP Rocky brought a streetwear sensibility to his look, Naomi Campbell resembled a goddess in a flowing silk dress, Kai from K-pop group EXO topped off a grey three-piece suit with a spiked leather collar, and even the company’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, standing over six feet tall, looked dapper in a powder blue suit.
Michele’s message is an inclusive one and it doesn’t matter who you are, this is a space for you, and it even came through at the afterparty, where much to the delight of the guests, legendary songstress Stevie Nicks performed, further bringing together everyone.
See also: The Artist Is Present: Inside Gucci’s Art Exhibition In Shanghai