GUCCI Resort 2024 show in Seoul, South Korea has redefined how the Western world perceives the bustling Asian fashion hub. The Italian fashion house chose a metropolis, which, until recently, existed in the shadow of its illustrious neighbors, Tokyo and Shanghai. The energy, the contrasts, and the undercurrents of Seoul’s vibrant streets now hold a global influence that GUCCI has astutely recognized and celebrated.
The dramatic backdrop of the show was Gyeongbokgung, the former royal palace, a location that initially sparked skepticism amongst locals for its overuse in popular culture. But as the palace lit up at twilight, devoid of the usual throng of tourists, it left even the most critical Seoulite in awe.
The front row of the GUCCI show was a star-studded affair with a blend of international celebrities like Dakota Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Saoirse Ronan, and domestic icons such as NewJeans’s Hanni, IU, and Lee Jung-jae. It was a testament to the brand’s commitment to fostering a genuine connection with the local culture rather than a fleeting visit aimed solely at boosting sales.
The highlight of the show was how GUCCI embraced the Seoul sensibility, the vibrant street style, and kinetic movement that has left the world enthralled. Model Sora Choi inaugurated the runway in a long black padded coat paired with jeans, clutching an eye-catching baguette-shaped bag that became a recurring theme in the collection.
The collection was a harmonious fusion of bourgeois streetwear and sportswear, a testament to the city’s eclectic style. Noteworthy were the bouclé bike shorts paired with a sophisticated jacket, cropped to reveal the midriff, and a standout pale pink chiffon dress with tiered ruffles that gracefully fluttered down the runway. The latter was worn over a black scuba suit, reflecting the innovative and adventurous spirit of Seoul’s fashion.
Neoprene featured prominently in layered turtlenecks zipped up to the chin, and was paired with tweed midi skirts, adorned with sparkling crystals on the sides. The collection had that inherent moodboard vibe, gracefully capturing the essence of Seoul’s urban landscape.
Rather than resorting to stereotypes, GUCCI astutely encapsulated the local street style with long loose silhouettes, pants worn low on the waist, and a profusion of cinching cords. These subtle homages to Seoul’s style had a far more profound impact than the more explicit references, such as the word ‘Gyeongbokgung’ emblazoned on the back of a T-shirt.
GUCCI’s elegant nod to traditional Korean attire was evident in a sateen lilac coat, adorned with a red bow akin to the one on a traditional jeogori jacket. Surrealist illustrations by local artist Ram Han added an additional layer of local flavor to the collection.
The grand finale was a spectacle in itself. The ancient courtyard sparkled under a sky full of lights, synced with the rhythmic thuds of wood mallets and drums. The last look was a simple, boxy black suit, signaling the closing of one chapter and heralding the beginning of a new one under incoming creative director Sabato De Sarno. It was a fitting tribute to Seoul, a city that is now firmly in the spotlight of the global fashion stage.
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