The beauty of cruise collections lies in the freedom they offer to designers. As the name suggests, they travel across the globe and seasons, drawing inspiration from different locations and current trends. They embrace elements from various cultures, making them both unique and universal and famed Italian brand Gucci has understood this perfectly.
At a time when South Korea’s cultural soft power is growing through K-Pop, Gucci is strengthening its ties with Seoul. With its dynamic youth and cutting-edge trends, often setting them itself, the Asian capital has become a hub of the moment. For the Florentine luxury brand, with its joyful aesthetic and characteristic red band flanked by two green bands, it was natural to establish a dialogue with the city where it has the highest number of fans per square metre. Anchoring its cruise collection there was a given. And it did so in the most spectacular way, choosing the ceremonial courtyard of a 14th-century palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, located in the heart of Seoul, as the venue for its fashion show.
In this collection, mix and match inspires a deconstructive study. Detachable sleeves become accessories, while zippers allow trousers to widen. A bomber jacket transforms into an evening skirt, and a biker jacket elongates into a coat. Sculptural lines outline dresses adorned with silk bands and bows, drawing inspiration from traditional South Korean garments. Hyper-sensory biomorphic patterns by South Korean artist Ram Han animate the collection. The Gucci Web, the iconic triband of the House, prevails throughout, as the obvious fusion of two heritages.
Silhouettes reminiscent of late 1990s Gucci, expressed in the colour palette of the 2010s, manifest the new generational codes inherent in urban attire. The aesthetics of formal wardrobes borrow materials and techniques from sportswear and casual wear. “Streetwear” becomes more refined, as seen in a bouclé skirt suit paired with a silk blouse. It blends with sportswear inspired by daily life in Seoul, such as wetsuits worn by enthusiastic river surfers and jet-skiers on the Han River. Surfing-influenced silhouettes intertwine with the bulky clothing styles of skateboarding, the terrestrial counterpart of surfing.
On the accessories front, bags undergo a format change. The Gucci Horsebit Chain leather bag appears distorted or shrunken. Minimalist Gucci bags from the archives are reinterpreted in colourful scuba fabric and ornamental adaptations. The trapezoidal Horsebit Chain bag reemerges in precious and iridescent leather. The sensibility of club kids is evoked through cyber-goth stomper boots, while the water sports motif from the collection is reflected in late 1990s scuba boots, reimagined as mules. The Ace sneaker takes on a more rounded shape with tone-on-tone laces and the Gucci Web.
As we can gather, this collection is the result of a joyful hybridization, a blend of cultural collages and mismatched codes.
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