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The celestial chatelaines and a bit crazy of Gucci wake up the Castel del Monte in Italy

Models present Gucci’s Resort 2023 collection in front of Castel del Monte in Italy. (Andria, May 16, 2022.) Getty Images

Alessandro Michele’s cruise collection for Gucci paraded Monday evening in Puglia in front of the Castel del Monte. A magical and spectacular parade worthy of a blockbuster.

Definitely cruises love sunsets. After Louis Vuitton’s at the Salk Institute in San Diego, Gucci also waited until nightfall to present its Cosmogonie collection. Alessandro Michele has chosen a decor worthy of a fairy tale this year. The Italian likes nothing less than to unearth the cultural treasures of his country to stage his fashion stories mixing history, archaeology, philosophy and cinema.

A castle in Italy

After the Alyscamps necropolis in Arles in 2018 or the Capitoline Museums enclosure in Rome in 2019, the artistic director of Gucci invited his guests this year to the majestic setting of the medieval castle of Castel del Monte, in the heart of Puglia, south of Italy. A one-of-a-kind octagonal fortress with its eight geometric towers dominating the commune of Andria. Built in blocks of limestone and quartz in the 13th century under the aegis of Emperor Frederick II, a poet, polyglot, mathematician and magician monarch, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996. During its construction, legend has it that the number eight was repeated obsessively. It was enough for the Italian creator passionate about symbolic places loaded with mythical stories. In his note of intent, he also invites the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin as the source of inspiration that gave rise to this outpouring of constellations.

myriads of stars

The latter illuminate the circular podium installed around the castle when the guests arrive for the parade scheduled for 8 p.m. While the sky is ablaze with the colors of the night, Elle Fanning, Lana Del Rey, Dakota Johnson, Paul Mescal (the revelation of the series Normal People) and Italian actor Alessandro Borghi gaze in wonder at the starry setting. Lou Doillon, loyal to the house, very pregnant with her second child, also poses in front of the photographers, in a suit and black felt hat, proudly revealing her baby bump to Rihanna under her open jacket. It is 8 p.m., the show can start, in the dark night, only the castle is lit and flames come out of its main door. Voices resound like in a cockpit and the sublime classical music of the Polish composer of film music, Abel Korzeniowski, resounds in the enclosure.

Between cinema and rave party

The models come out ready to play all the roles in this star-studded super production. Chatelaines in long dresses richly embroidered with sequins or constellations, Roman bourgeoises as cinematic as the most beautiful actresses — Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren and co. — of the golden age of Italian cinema and sexy creatures straight out of he rave party parades in billows of smoke, perfectly echoing the theatricality of the castle. An incendiary shimmer of luminous textures mixing flamboyance and decadence, great elegance and irreverence. The Gucci girls wear both ceremonial laced thigh-high boots with stiletto heels and precious beribboned ballet flats, go from sequined capes that fully reveal their bodies to long austere black dresses adorned with choker necklaces with multiple rows of white pearls.

From the Renaissance to today

A bit crazy behind their great sophistication, they multiply the references, chain trains and crinolines, turquoise blue opera gloves, Renaissance-style white collarettes, apple green suit with pie server collars, tiara of large queens, transparent pink babydolls, faux fur opulent or long draped dresses with black and white stripes. Heroines alternately romantic, cinematographic, daring, dominating who go out at night with their big colored glasses because fashion is also made for fun. “I always make clothes shine if I can” explains Alessandro Michele who can congratulate himself today on having made a great success of his sublime cruise party in Italy.


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