The Florentine house design studio presented its Cruise 2024 collection last Tuesday in the monumental setting of the Royal Palace in Seoul, South Korea. A clever mix of eras, styles and influences dominated by the aura of Korean youth.
Quite a symbol. To present its Cruise 2024 collection, Gucci took to a location it has never seen before: Gyeongbokgung Palace, a magnificent royal palace located north of the South Korean capital of Seoul. Never before has such an event been held within the walls of this huge and impressive historical monument, the largest and most visited in the city, built in the 14th century in 1394 during the Hossein dynasty. It is a city within a city, an architectural wonder with its many double-roofed painted wooden palace-pagodas, which have been destroyed and then rebuilt several times throughout history. And in front of the building, a skyline of futuristic skyscrapers contrasts with the historic site and tells at a glance the dazzling evolution of Seoul into a metropolis of 10 million inhabitants.
In the video: The Royal Palace of Seoul, the spectacular view of the Gucci Cruise 2024 fashion show
THE: soft power of fashion
Walking through this former high ground of Korean power is all the more symbolic as South Korea now shines around the world thanks to its soft power which makes this nation the epicenter of modern pop culture. Nowadays, K-culture (K-pop, K-drama, K-beauty…) continues to influence the world. For example, the Netflix platform announced a $2.3 billion investment in Korean-language content. “South Korea represents the cultural energy of the moment,” said Ted Sarandos, CEO of the platform. It has also become one of the most strategic markets for all luxury brands; Twenty-five years after opening its first store in Seoul, Gucci wanted to celebrate its connection with Korea by celebrating the spirits.
If he was able to perform the feat of parading within the walls of the “heavenly blessed palace”, as the Koreans call it, it is because the Kering group house is investing in restoration over the next three years. and site maintenance for an undisclosed amount. A way for Gucci to establish a closer and symbolic connection with Korea. Another way soft power with money. “Beauty is a constant source of inspiration for Gucci, but it also requires constant care and attention. We are delighted to reaffirm our commitment to Korea’s cultural heritage and pay homage to it through this fashion show,” said Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri.
“Our history with Korea began 25 years ago with the opening of our first store in Seoul and has grown over time, strengthening our relationships with local communities. Gyeongbok Palace is one of those wonders of the world that made us feel instantly connected to Korean culture and the people who created it. Florence and Seoul, Italy and Korea, are so far on the map, but so close to create miracles. That’s why we’re honored to present our Gucci Cruise 2024 collection here, celebrating the past, inspiring the future.”
A collection inspired by Korean youth
This Cruise 2024 collection embraces this idea of connection between past and future, ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary. Opposite the throne room pavilion, Geunjeongyon, fully lit up for the occasion, and facing the city’s skyscrapers, eras and styles dialogue, collide, mingle. The wardrobe evokes the streetwear look of a young Korean with baggy pants and a cropped three-layer top, or a more bourgeois version of a skirt-back skirt worn with a corset, detachable bomber sleeves. Otgoreum knots, which adopt hanbok, the traditional Korean costume, meet the bust on red silk or pink satin coat evening gowns.
All the Italian know-how is expressed in the art of hybridization with this bomber jacket transformed as a long evening skirt, this white satin coat that transforms into a gorgeous dress by opening the sleeves. Boys and girls parade around with a surfboard under their arm or with a bag-skateboard/digital tablet in hand. This collection is dedicated to active people (in every sense of the word) and is inspired by many sports wardrobe codes to impress the idea of a world in motion, moving forward. It to South Korea. Inspired by the lifestyle of Seoulites who enjoy water sports in the Han River on sunny days, the collection elevates neoprene to ultra-chic long dresses, ultra-simple turtlenecks worn with more sophisticated skirts or booties transformed into mules. A pink silk dress wears a bathing suit. There are also cycling shorts that are worn with wetsuits or suits. The whole thing reflects the mix of styles that can be seen in Seoul.
Awaiting the new DA of Florence House
The design studio of the Florentine house signs this collection. More minimalist than usual Cruise, also more sober. It seems that in this transitional period for Gucci, after the luxurious era of Alessandro Michele (who left the house in November 2022), it was necessary to adopt a more balanced attitude, to offer more accessible pieces. We can see a new direction initiated by Kering’s desire, away from the extravagance embodied by Michele. The sign of this rupture. several silhouettes on the runway celebrate the Tom Ford era of the 90s, from a jeweled dress to high heels, through monochrome ensembles and silk and satin tops or dresses. It is still too early to know which direction Gucci will go, as the house’s new DA, Sabato de Sarno, is currently working on his first collection and his vision, which he will present next September in Milan. .
About 600 guests traveled to attend this show, the soundtrack of which was signed by Jung Jae-il, the composer of the music. A parasite, the first Korean film to win an Oscar. Among them are international actresses such as Dakota Johnson, Jodie Turner Smith, Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Olsen. But the real stars in their own realm? Indeed, it was Korean celebrities, including actor Lee Jung-jae who appeared in the series Squid Game: or K-Pop stars like Aespa, Itzy or Gucci ambassador singer Hanni from K-pop girlband NewJeans, whose title Likewise Over 300 million streams on Spotify.
But in South Korea, the presence of these stars does not cause any furore, as can be seen during Fashion Week in Paris. Only a few dozen fans obediently, calmly, silently waited at the entrance of the show to try to see their favorite artists through the tinted glass. At the time, it was American rapper A$AP Rocky who gave a private concert at the after party.
In the video, designer Alessandro Michele announces his departure from Gucci
Source: Le Figaro