For Gucci’s Cruise 2019 show, creative director Alessandro Michele transported showgoers to a medieval graveyard in Arles, France. Michele knows how to get people’s attention and last night’s spectacle did not disappoint. The clothing and the venue were rife with references to death and Hollywood, complete with a number of dark special effects like flames, smoke, and massive bouquets of flowers that models cradled down the runway.
Keeping in line with his mysterious design MO, Michele took to Instagram to speak to the brand’s DNA and why he chose the medieval setting.
“Alyscamps is a Roman cemetery, but it’s also not a cemetery, it was a promenade, it became a walk in the 1700s; it is hybridized, it does not look like a cemetery because it is and it isn’t. I like things that seem like something but are not,” he said in a post.
“Alyscamps is a Roman cemetery, but it’s also not a cemetery, it was a promenade, it became a walk in the 1700s; it is hybridized, it does not look like a cemetery because it is and it isn’t. I like things that seem like something but are not,” #AlessandroMichele. Flames and fire divide the runway which features candles burning on iron candelabras for the #GucciCruise19 fashion show on the Promenade Des Alyscamps in Arles. The ancient site, where Roman citizens were buried, is the setting for the new collection showing live now on Gucci’s Instagram Stories.
There were a whopping 114 men’s and womenswear sent down the runway. The sheer volume of clothing obviously provided a lot of room for Michele to play with his hybridized graveyard theme.
The looks were eclectic. One model wore a knitted skirt suit reminiscent of a Chanel’s tweed suit. Another wore a wedding gown that was fit for the bride of Frankenstein. Flowers appeared in the form of oversized bouquets, as well as on model’s clothing—the fluers and the blazing flames were both inspired by iconic imagery found at grave sites in Scotland.
The Chateau Marmont logo was printed on a number of outfits, including the hotel’s unofficial mascot Pan, who is the god of the wild, shepherds, and flocks. The notorious L.A. hotel was the site of many famous celebrity scandals and the final resting place of people like photographer Helmut Newton and actor John Belushi.
Perhaps Michele is starting to feel his own mortality, given the dizzying rate at which fashion brands are going through designers and creative directors. Plus, Balenciaga has been outpacing Gucci as the fastest growing brand in the Kering portfolio. But the Italian designer also said he likes things that aren’t what they seem, so maybe he still has a few tricks up his sleeve before bowing out.