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Gucci hosts star-studded cruise collection fashion show in London’s Tate Modern



LONDON – For one night only, the utilitarian, concrete basement of London’s Tate Modern museum was transformed into a lush green jungle Monday — and it was the hottest fashion ticket in town.

Luxury Italian fashion house Gucci hosted its star-studded cruise collection catwalk at the Thames-side modern art museum, showing a series of delicate sheer outfits, relaxed denim and daywear, all adorned with the brand’s coveted leather bags and other accessories with the double-G logo.

Actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott and singers Dua Lipa and Solange Knowles were among celebrities perched on the front row. Also in attendance were Salma Hayek and her husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, who is chair and CEO of Kering, Gucci’s parent company.

The big-budget event displayed the first cruise collection by Sabato De Sarno, who was named Gucci’s creative director last year and debuted his womenswear designs in September.

Gucci normally stages its shows in Milan, but like other fashion powerhouses it chooses locations around the world to show off its cruise collections — the shows in between the main spring and autumn displays.

On Monday, models meandered down a runway that wound its way around hundreds of ferns, overhanging plants and mossy paths, the mass of green a contrast to the grey, industrial show space. De Sarno said that contrast extends to his latest designs, which paired luxurious evening looks and floral embroidery with casual jackets and slouchy denim.

And what of the footwear? Comfort comes first, with all outfits, even the most glamorous evening gowns, paired with Mary Jane shoes, ballet flats or platform loafers worn with little white socks.

“Rigor and extravagance, strength in delicacy, Englishness with an Italian accent,” the show notes read.

De Sarno featured a few checked jackets in a nod to British style, though some other designs were a much more subtle tribute. Dresses and coats covered with squares made of a shimmering bead fringe were a reference to Scottish plaids.

The fashion house has a little-known historical link to the U.K. Its founder, Guccio Gucci, had a stint working as a bellhop in the Savoy, the luxury London hotel, more than a century ago.

The brand says Guccio took inspiration from that experience when he opened his first store in Florence in 1921 to sell luggage. The rest, as they say, is history.

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