For eight months the fashion industry has waited with bated breath for the inaugural collection of Gucci’s newly appointed creative director Sabato De Sarno. Following the fanciful and maximalist 20-year rein of Alessandro Michele, the Valentino alum’s debut tasks him with filling some rather elaborate, bedazzled shoes. So, it comes as no surprise that the fateful day in question, Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2024 presentation on September 22, brought out the crème de la crème of fashion lovers, all eager to witness the dawn of a new era for the heritage label. Everyone from Julia Roberts (and her signature long copper locks) to Halle Bailey journeyed to Milan for the highly anticipated show, which read like a celebration of all things Italian.
“It’s a story of movies, of my beloved Italy, of intellectuals and travels around the world but still feeling at home wherever you are,” De Sarno wrote in an Instagram post on the day of the show. Titled “Gucci Ancora” — the latter term meaning “still” — the presentation truly embodied the alluring, glamorous, effortless elements of the country’s (and label’s) iconic style. “It’s a story of joy of life, of passion, of humanity, of people, of real life, of irreverent glamour, of provocation, of confidence, of simplicity, of immediate feelings and emotions, of a specific type of art, of words — words in artworks, words in pictures, words in spaces, just words,” continued De Sarno in his post.
From the jump, the collection confirmed its departure from the high-octane, hedonistic collections that were commonplace under Michele’s watch. First off, was the dimly lit, minimally designed venue that consisted of a single spotlighted runway — a far cry from the Love Parade on Los Angeles’ bustling Hollywood Boulevard, no? Then came the sleek, thigh-grazing tap shorts, which were a common theme throughout the presentation (and across MFW runways this season), dressed up with sheer ivory tanks, floor-sweeping blazers, and sky-high flatform loafers; then dressed down with oversized hooded sweatshirts and tinsel-covered ballet flats. De Sarno seemingly sought a delicate balance in his designs, never allowing a look to overflow in sex appeal or simplicity.
That said, a healthy dose of glamour and excitement was offered by way of highlighter green pant suits, periwinkle leather pencil skirts, and rich red structured blazers. Delicate lace slips, swishy fringe, and sparkling bandeau tops also added to the magic and were, again, toned down with denim, sneakers, and simplistic separates.
The long revered “little Gucci dress” — made popular in the early aughts by one Posh Spice, aka Victoria Beckham — made a big comeback, set against bedazzled gems, buttery silks, and embossed leather. Another classic, the Jackie handbag, was also a fixture, reimagined in vivid orange python, bubblegum pink, and the traditional green, red, and white combo.
“It’s a story of music and nights out, of sweat, dancing, and singing,” explains De Sarno of his approach in his Instagram address. “It’s a story of family, of kissing, lots and lots of kisses. It’s a story of everything, again, but this time expressed through joy.” It’s also a story of a new beginning. A fresh start that pays homage to the past in slivers of light and color but celebrates a more streamlined and balanced future. Viva Italia!
See all the highlights from the designer’s dazzling debut below.