WHEN the fairly unknown Sabato De Sarno took over the helm of Gucci earlier this year, the question of what’s next circulated everywhere.
The answer began a few weeks ago as social media posts were deleted, archival hints took centre stage in a new campaign starring Daria Werbowy, and a new shade of burgundy was plastered across billboards globally.
It had become evident that was what to come next was most certainly a shift from the kaleidoscope of fantasy that his predecessor Alessandro Michele had made the brand famous for. It wasn’t going to be a small shift, it was going to be a totally new vision of the Italian House.
Titled Ancora, meaning ‘again’, the spring-summer 2024 was here to set the scene of De Sarno’s Gucci. It was minimal, at times details were maximalist, but it took away all the noise from the past couple of years and toned down the pieces. There wasn’t any layering, oodles of contrasting materials or ecocentrism, it was short, elegant and modern.
Silhouettes were defined by their reduction in length – a lot of mini dresses and super short skirts and shorts. The colour palette of SS24 was centred around the new red (named Ancora Rosso) with pops of black, white, blue and beige also making appearances.
But while the designer had muted the amount of colours he worked with, cross-hatch crystal embroidery was found on sleeveless dresses, bags and bra tops, and white tees were rimmed with chunky Swarovski crystals around the hem to add some euphoria to a mundane wardrobe essential.
Sabato even wrote in the show notes the clothes were designed to be ‘desirable to collect, not for a museum but to enrich everyday life’.
While the change in aesthetic was more than evident, there were a few running motifs that returned to the runway. The classic Horsebit loafer was given a boost with a platform; shortened playsuits were crafted out of the GG monogram pattern; the GG belt was made thinner; and the Jackie bag debuted in new shades.
De Sarno’s debut set the tone. It was muted, it was classic and it certainly called in a new era. Maybe because the designs contrasted so much between him and Michele that the new Gucci is something we will have to get used to, it did however breathe a new life into the ordinary, the everyday and that is exactly what Gucci hasn’t been able to do until now.
by Imogen Clark