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THE PRESSURE for Sabato De Sarno’s sophomore collection for Gucci was high. After unveiling his debut collection last September, it was swiftly followed by a menswear one that mirrored, the question that was arose was ‘what was next?’.

He had already set a new tone for Gucci, specifically one defined by Ancora red and hints of Tom Ford’s minimalistic touch from the late 90s. The invite to the show was a notebook embossed with the phrase ‘follow your heart’ across the front made by a small stationary shop in Milan called Pettinaroli.

Ultimately, the designer is focusing less on theatrical extravagance, which is what the brand had become synonymous for, and more about highlighting the craftsmanship of its ateliers.

It was clear that SS24 really lay the foundations of De Sarno’s Gucci aesthetic. Pea coats returned for AW24 in a new colours like mustard yellow, camel and jacquard green patterns; mules were elevated with towering platforms and hems remained very short despite the seasonal shift.

Slouchy thick-knitted cardigans and double-breasted wool coats with ombre crystal embroidery were winter knockouts. Strapless ankle-length dresses added a flare of mature sophistication whilst a combination of different lace dresses were crowd pleasers for the A-list front row. It seemed masculinity was appointed as the framework for outerwear, whilst femininity was rife in everything under.

Looking into the archive for accessories, equestrian motifs were reinterpreted into a half-moon bag that pays homage to a stirrup, and the GG Milano, is set to be pushed as the new ‘it’ bag with its top handle and puffy shape crafted from nappa. With a knack for leatherwear, horse-riding boots are introduced as a staple coming in both its traditional knee-height length and over-the-knee.

The verdict for Gucci lies ultimately in you – the customer – but what does make the brand now standout is its lack of trend awareness.

De Sarno doesn’t care about that, he cares about well-made clothes and accessories; “capture the extraordinary where the ordinary is expected” read his show notes. He wants to elevate the everyday and his collection does just that. No gimmicks, just clothes.

by Imogen Clark


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