Gucci Makes Triumphant Return To London For Cruise 2025 Fashion Show

Gucci held its first London show since 2016 at the Tate Modern gallery last night for its Cruise 2025 Fashion Show.

This event marked a significant return for the brand, with creative director Sabato De Sarno presenting his first Cruise collection. The show was notable not only for its fashion but also for its setting—a transformed subterranean space filled with thousands of plants.

De Sarno has a deep connection to London. He said, “I owe a lot to this city, it has welcomed and listened to me.” This sentiment was reflected in the choice of the Tate Modern, an iconic location that blends urban architecture with a natural theme.

The show began with a nod to traditional Gucci elements, mixed with a touch of London flair. Models wore mixed wash denim pants under tailored outerwear like martingale-belted cabans and double-breasted jackets. The formal looks were softened with matte brown suede fabrics. Floating pussy bow blouses added a feminine touch.

Flat shoes were a key feature of the collection. The lineup included horse-bit ballerinas with rubber soles and raised brothel creepers, which had been seen in the menswear collection. These shoes symbolized a sense of freedom and practicality. Some pieces from the menswear collection, like jeans, workwear popovers in poplin, and oversized leather bombers, also made an appearance, hinting at a possible return to Milan for a spring 2025 show.

High-collared leather coats, in soft, nearly pastel colors, played a central role in several looks. These coats were paired with skirts and coordinated handbag and shopping bag sets. The attention to detail was evident in jeans adorned with hanging beads or chamomile flower embroidery. One skirt revealed a black-backed pattern on the outside, which mirrored a yellow-backed organza pattern on the inside.

As the show concluded, the music mixed De Sarno’s version of Mina’s “Ancora” with Debbie Harry’s “Heart of Glass.” This blend emphasized the revived Blondie bag, which Harry herself attended to see. The music also hinted at an expansion of De Sarno’s previously technical design approach.

De Sarno, who took over as Gucci’s creative director in 2023, has opted for a simpler, more stripped-back style compared to his predecessor, Alessandro Michele. His previous shows in Milan featured minimalistic settings, using just monolithic Gucci-branded blocks. However, for this Cruise show, he chose a different approach.

The Tate Modern’s “Tanks” space, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, provided a unique backdrop. Originally industrial cylinders that powered the former power station, these spaces were transformed into a lush, indoor jungle.

De Sarno described the setting as a “botanic tapestry,” which will be donated to community projects in London after the show. The plants, chosen for their resilience, will benefit projects like Life Under the Westway, an urban gardening initiative.

The selection of plants included species that thrive in city gardens, such as Epimedium, Vinca, and Dryopteris. Larger shrubs and trees like Hornbeam, Parthenocissus, and Aesculus were also used. Spring foliage represented freshness and renewal. This nod to nature connects with Gucci’s history of botanical prints, such as the famous Flora design by Vittorio Accornero, created for Grace Kelly in the 1960s.

De Sarno’s choice to incorporate so many plants not only created a visually striking setting but also reinforced Gucci’s long-standing connection to nature. This theme was previously highlighted in Gucci Bloom, a fragrance campaign featuring models in a pool of floating flowers.

Overall, the show was a blend of Gucci’s heritage and De Sarno’s fresh vision. It was a fitting return to London, a city that has played a significant role in the brand’s history. As the models walked the runway, it was clear that Gucci’s new chapter under De Sarno is off to a promising start.


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