On Tuesday, Gucci staged its Cruise 2024 fashion show in Seoul—at no less spectacular a venue than the six-century-old Gyeongbokgung Palace—to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Italian house’s first store in the South Korean capital. It also marks Gucci’s third runway show since Alessandro Michele’s departure in November—and another transitional season for the label to navigate until newly appointed creative director Sabato De Sarno debuts his first collection, for spring 2024, in September. Here are the five biggest takeaways from a star-studded night of blockbuster fashion.
1. The Dream of the ’90s Is Alive in Seoul
The show notes promised “silhouettes evocative of Gucci in the late 1990s”—and boy, did the design team ever deliver. There were bomber jackets of every imaginable form: cropped, stretched to ankle length, puffed up in shimmering metallics, toned down in matte blacks. There were baggy ripped jeans, sophisticated spins on overalls, dangly wallet chains, puffy vests, and strong-shouldered tailoring. It was, without question, the house’s most dramatic break from the preppy-twee of the Michele era yet: Squint, and you could’ve easily mistaken the models for club kids at Berghain or cast members in Kids.
2. The X Games Go High Fashion—Again
Fashion’s ongoing obsession with skate and surf culture has deepened (and grown ever-more literal) in recent years. JW Anderson knit a skateboard into a sweater; Dior teamed with surfwear experts Vissla on a wetsuit; Hermès built a carryall on a skate deck. Now, Gucci has entered the action sport arena: The house sent several neoprene wetsuits down the runway—some more subtly cropped into shirts and layered under slinky dresses; others full-length with zipped-up hoods—alongside a handful of real-deal, life-sized surfboards tucked under arms. There were techy, neon-tinged, wraparound shades scattered throughout. And, most notably, there was Gucci’s own sure-to-go-viral take on the skateboard bag: a full-sized deck complete with wheels, with a monogrammed Gucci handbag attached at the center.