Alessandro Michele and his creative team at Gucci took their guests, after the Promenade des Alyscamps in Arles, an ancient necropolis, or Rome’s Musei Capitolini overlooking the Fori Imperiali, to a more unexpected location, the majestic Castel del Monte in Puglia, to present the Italian house’s new Cruise 2023 (Resort 2023) collection.
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Perched on a hill, the 13th century castle built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen was illuminated by a full moon – the lunar eclipse was a day earlier, a “pure coincidence“, according to Michele – and images of ancient constellation maps and shooting stars.
“I was looking for a place which gave grace to the mythological”, he explained to Vogue. “It’s a site where measurements and proportions cross each other as if by magic – the same way measurements of collars and jackets can be somehow magical”.
Titled ‘’Cosmogony’’, his Cruise 2023 (Resort 2023) collection was a vibrant ode to Walter Benjamin, the great German philosopher and author of the ‘’Theses on the Philosophy of History’’, his last text written in Paris in 1940, shortly before he commit a suicide.
“Benjamin, after all, is a collector of quotations. He discovers them from the depths of the sea and he brings them back on the surface of the water, as rare and precious pearls. He reassembles them, like shreds of thoughts that need to be recomposed, reconstructed, updated. Retying knots through a passionate remodeling, unveiling interrelations and articulations. Such an extraordinary ability to illuminate connections, which would otherwise be invisible, makes Benjamin the paradigmatic figure of those thinking in constellations. A term that he turns into a philosophical concept. What can seem, at first sight, atomized and dispersed, like the stars in the sky, through Benjamin’s eyes becomes an assembly of complicity: a connective structure that lights up the darkness through the epiphany of a constellation”, wrote Alessandro Michele in the show notes.
Referring to Walter Benjamin’s constellation thinking, a concept of bringing together the past and the present in one, the collection was studded with medieval references, graphic patterns, such as stripes, vertical stripes, harlequin patterns or large polka dots in different colors, shimmering silver lamé materials, black and gold faux fur and constellations of crystals that adorn denim shorts, bringing sparkle to even the most mundane garments.