Sabato de Sarno's Debut at Gucci Declares a New Direction for the Brand | Savoir Flair
Milan Fashion Week
Sabato de Sarno's Debut at Gucci Declares a New Direction for the Brand
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by Grace Gordon 4-minute read September 21, 2023

Gucci 'Ancora' collection unfurled a new banner of minimalism.

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As one of (if not the) most-anticipated shows of FASHION MONTH this season, the SPECULATION was on. 

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Sabato de Sarno’s Gucci Spring/Summer 2024 debut hit a snag with the weather. From an outdoor location in Brera, it was moved indoors to the Gucci Hub because of Milan’s September rainy season. One imagines what it might have been like in a different environment. I feel like all the eye-popping crystal trim in the collection would have been dazzling under the sunlight. If only there had been sunlight.

As one of (if not the) most-anticipated shows of Fashion Month this season, the speculation was on. Recent ‘Gucci Ancora’ campaigns have issued clues as to the new direction, especially a shoot featuring the iconic model Daria Werbowy in a simple bathing suit with sleek hair and bold, gold jewelry. The messaging said: minimal but sexy. Eyebrows were up regarding the branding overhaul because Kering already has successful brands in this arena.

Inside the venue, which was bathed in red with a huge red velvet curtain backdrop through which the models would eventually march, the moment seemed to have a theatrical quality. Gucci is a big, BIG brand, poised for a come-up on the renewing strength of the Asian market and enduring strength of the Middle East. This is a big, BIG moment, not just for fashion but for the business that sustains it. Celebrities lined up on the front row for a glimpse of what they’ll be wearing in the coming months. There was Ryan Gosling, Paul Mescal, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Chastain, Julia Garner, and legions of others rubbing elbows with editors and influencers. The buzz was palpable.

And then, just like that, Gucci turned the page and opened a new chapter. The signal of the sea change came from the first look, a simple black coat paired with a glossy, crimson ‘Jackie’ and leather flatform loafers. Surfaces were mostly unadorned for a large portion of the show; gone were the frills, layers, and embroideries of Alessandro Michele’s era. Here, in their place, were well-cut minimalist separates and lengths and fits that skewed youthful, body-con, and hip. I loved moments that felt a little more daring: a maroon embossed leather skirt with a slit straight up the middle, an electric lime green coat with a fringed back that moved stupendously, a sailor-collared knit adorned with crystals, a lingerie slip paired with an all-weather parka. Among these were short suits, hoodies, smocked dresses, and gilets. Bags and shoes were smaller, sleeker, and chicer. No more blaring logos. No more pronouncement. Just clean, leggy, sexy-sophisticated clothes that are already excellent and calibrated to be commercially viable.

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