The city of Arles located in Southern France was one of particular importance to the Romans-from a military as well as culture and religious standpoint.  During Roman times, burials on city grounds were off-limits, which counted for numerous tombs and burial grounds outside of the rural circumference. Not far from the ancient city walls of Arles, is the large Roman necropolis Alyscamps. The infamous “city of the dead” was noted by Dante in the ‘Inferno’- where Christian sins are revealed and categorized. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Alyscamps tomb site with its elaborate monuments and immense history was the perfect facade for none other than, Alessandro Michele for Gucci.

Infamous for his plethora of cultural knowledge and elaborate references to Italian history the highly anticipated Gucci 2019 Cruise Collection unfolded in one of the most unique settings to date. As the sun set, the night came alive emerging the onlookers into a parallel universe dictated by Dante. While the murmur of souls filled the air, a darkness and eery atmosphere were illuminated by an intense fire and church candles leading those of the living through the tombs.

Bringing Dante’s poem to life the show opened having us relive Canto IX from the Inferno. With flames flickering through the clouds of smoke, the intricate show began with models strolling at a constant speed. 114 looks for men and women strolled out debuting floral silks, tiger prints, plaid skirts, heavily embroidered capes, ruffles and women yielding floral bouquets. Jeweled crosses and cross-references from Catholicism, widows, and rock star united harmoniously through a seemingly otherworldly bond. Every piece of the collection saturated with culture and nods to greats such as hat designer Frank Olive and Harris Reed a Central Saint Martins student. Michele is known for incorporating logos into his shows, and this death meets rock theme debuted as the ‘wild man’ unofficial logo of the Chateau Marmont. The Chateau located on Sunset BLVD is synonymous with ‘bad behaviour’ with a long list of rock and movie stars and rumoured to be haunted by John Belushi’s ghost after dying in the hotel from a drug overdose. The theme of wild melancholy continued with bubble gum pinks and green hues mixed with heavy tartans, intricate beadwork danced wickedly as the looks were garnished with what will be highly covetable accessories from sunglasses to oversized jewelry.

Every touch point of the show from the location to the smallest detail, all extremely curated by Michele, also marks an important announcement for the brand: Arles was the opening of a French season for Gucci as it will skip Milan and present during Paris Fashion Week in September.


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