How do you top a Dior show held in the majestic, stately Blenheim Palace, a Chanel collection showcased on the colorful streets of Cuba, and a breathtaking Louis Vuitton presentation set against a backdrop of the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Rio? For Gucci, the answer is an intimate, so Gucci event staged at one of London's most famous landmarks, Westminster Abbey.
To choose a venue that's typically reserved for coronations and the most opulent of "I dos" (take Kate and William's royal nuptials, for example), is certainly a bold move, especially considering no other design house has hosted a runway show there before. And while the catwalk was not actually inside the church, the stone-flagged courtyard of The Cloisters still served as an enviable backdrop — and one Alessandro Michele, who used to live in London, chose because of his "[obsession] with British culture, past and present," according to The Telegraph. Still, the occasion was not without controversy; some members of the church — like priest and author reverend Peter Owen-Jones, who told the same paper that granting a fashion brand access to the building was like “selling our soul for a pair of trousers" — were offended by the location's use.
Venue disputes aside, the eagerly awaited show was exactly what we expected: A front row filled with celebrities like Elle Fanning, A$AP Rocky, Salma Hayek, Alexa Chung, and Georgia May Jagger (but where was Harry Styles?!); seats decorated with hand-embroidered cushions adorned with Gucci snakes, flowers, and cats; and a (once again) geek chic, vintage-inspired collection that featured both menswear and womenswear and celebrated clashing print, pattern, texture, and color.
For his latest offering, Michele took showgoers through British fashion history. There were: 1. Victorian lace and frills that felt like a love-child of Jane Austen and Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat. 2. Country garden-ready robe coats and florals we only hope the cast of Ladies of London will wear for a weekend getaway next season. 3. Shimmering paneled cocktail dresses via the Swinging '60s. Paging Bianca Jagger! 4. '70s-punk bleach-splattered denim and spiked leather and jean jackets. 5. Modern Union Jack-clad sweaters and tartan skirts that made us think of both Alexander McQueen and One Direction, simultaneously. 6. Contemporary streetwear (including embellished hoodies and logo tees), because, why not? 7. A lot of cats. Seriously, we counted at least 20.
We get it: That may sound like a lot. And it was — in the best way possible. But thanks to Michele's special touch, the loud, over-the-top collection was everything the Gucci-loving, vintage-finding, cat-lady could want...and more.