Gucci returns to London for Cruise 2025 show

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“WE’LL ALWAYS have London” reads the first line of Gucci’s Cruise 2025 show notes. It’s the city where it all began and it’s the chosen place for Sabato De Sarno to unveil the third iteration of his vision for the brand.

Following in the founder’s footsteps, who worked as a luggage porter in The Savoy Hotel as a teenager, the creative director picked the Tate Modern as the set for his new collection. Nestled in the Southbank and standing as a hub for modern creativity, it was seen as a cross-section that both welcomes, celebrates and generates ideas.

“The House’s return is driven by a desire to be immersed in its distinctive essence, its creative driving force with its limitless capability to put together contrasts, make them converse, and find ways to coexist,” says De Sarno. “Today we are here to celebrate that spirit”.

Having explored the notion of desirability and sensibility in previous seasons, Cruise 2025 marks an adventure into creating a more romantic idea of the new Gucci – yet, still filled with distortion and ensuring a light-heartedness remains. Or, as the brand puts it ‘Englishness with an Italian accent’.

Cruise 2025 elegantly brought city and culture into one – wearability being a big factor needed in places like London and beauty attached to places like Florence. What maybe lacked in previous offerings from the designer, was modified for this collection with accessories being front and centre.

Gucci Horse-bit ballerinas were a clever addition to the brand due to their popularity, while creepers abided by London’s history of punk. Pearl necklaces debuted with the iconic lobster-clasp to emphasise the femininity of the collection, and tiny belts returned. This is Gucci, so of course bags came in their dozens but most notably, the Blondie bag was lifted from the archives and brought back in leather or toile.

While minimalism is De Sarno’s bread and butter when it comes to his design aesthetic, as previously mentioned he wanted contrasts. Pleated chiffon skirts swept the floor and were paired with matching leather bomber jackets, opaque delicate two-pieces arrived with studded loafers, and suede double-breasted coats were given a 70s flair with pussybow silk shirts sweeping over the front and baggy jeans adding a modern touch.

A new floral motif came with a visual punch as full looks adorned this wild chamomile pattern, presenting itself in either suit form or in matching dress and overcoat. More flowers were shown in three-dimensional form, made from organza and assembled by hand to be sewn on as embroidery.

Even more patterns were injected into the Gucci sphere as tartans were re-energised into more enhanced versions of the British classics, and then pushed further and transformed into beaded fringe that played around with movement as the models brushed passed.

De Sarno’s third look into his Gucci is effervescent with ideas, from tailoring to intricate detailing and then also leatherwork. While he has shifted the aesthetic into a far more streamlined brand, the youth of his customer seems to be evident in his mini-proportions and utility outlook. With London known to be a playground of ideas, it seems like the designer has enjoyed the British knack for mismatching.

by Imogen Clark

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