Gucci Menswear Spring Summer 2024 “Revitalizing Legacy”. Story by Runway Magazine. Photo Courtesy: Gucci.
Gucci’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the iconic Gucci Horsebit Loafer was nothing short of spectacular. The fashion house hosted a vibrant and immersive event at Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week, transforming the art venue Spazio Maiocchi into a captivating countercultural meta-country club called The Gucci Horsebeat Society. Curated by Alessio Ascari, the creative director of Spazio Maiocchi, the event featured a range of installations, live performances, exhibitions, and videos, all paying homage to the timeless Gucci symbol.
The venue itself was a visual feast, with 10 emerging artists reinterpreting the Horsebit’s iconography through digital and AI-generated imagery. The metal clamp of a horse’s bridle was morphed and twisted into various forms, from an AI-generated pattern on the carpeting to distorted kinetics woven into denim ensembles and subtly incorporated into the classic checks of a Prince of Wales wool tailored suit. The juxtaposition of traditional craftsmanship with futuristic elements set the tone for the collection.
Amidst the immersive art experience, Gucci’s Spring collection took center stage. The looks were displayed on mannequins in a room entirely wallpapered by Ed Davis, an Australian image-maker known for his striking collages. His motifs were reprised on an oversized bowling-set/skater silk ensemble, adding an element of playfulness to the collection. Throughout the lineup, the influence of the archives was evident, as classic silhouettes were reimagined with augmented proportions while still maintaining their timeless construction.
The collection masterfully balanced the past and the future. Classic sartorial three-piece suits were modernized into sharp-cut, trim versions, subtly updated with elongated blazers, shortened sleeves and cuffs, and the revival of ’70s bootcut trousers. Simultaneously, a hint of inventive techno-quirk was injected into workwear and sport-inflected pieces. Optically treated surfaces created intriguing textures, with the GG logo digitally distorted into glazed effects or laser-printed on denim-like leather. A spongy three-dimensional weave further enhanced the visual appeal. A standout piece was the liquid oversized hoodie/shorts ensemble woven with silver metallic threads, giving it a shape-shifting and malleable quality. Another striking creation was a washed denim jacket thermo-incrusted with micro mirror tiles, transforming the wearer into a wearable disco ball that reflected light in a mesmerizing manner.
The integration of art within the event was both visually compelling and conceptually engaging. Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury’s furry bedroom, adorned with a hanging square-heeled Horsebit loafer from Tom Ford’s Gucci Fall 1995 show, provided a captivating display. American sculptor Pitter Patter’s surreal bean-shaped wooden desk supported by replicas of stylish knee-length legs clad in Gucci bootcut trousers and Horsebit loafers added an entertaining and humorously artistic touch to the exhibition. This event undoubtedly left fashion enthusiasts excited for the upcoming arrival of the new creative director, Sabato De Sarno, scheduled for September.
Gucci’s Menswear Spring Summer 2024 collection successfully celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Gucci Horsebit Loafer while capturing the brand’s innovative spirit. With a harmonious blend of heritage and forward-thinking design, the collection offered a captivating visual experience that left a lasting impression. The event was a testament to Gucci’s ability to continuously reinvent and redefine its iconic symbols, solidifying its position as a leader in the world of fashion.