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Could Alessandro Michele have possibly brought Gucci's resort show to a landmark as well-known as Westminster Abbey without letting London's infectious style bleed into his designs? Better question: would a global brand like Gucci ever miss an opportunity to sell its customers site-specific novelty items, like a Union Jack sweater or a printed bag referencing English gardens?
Make no mistake: Gucci's cruise 2017 show on Thursday morning was every bit the madcap romp through colors, patterns, and quirky eyeglasses that we've come to expect from Michele in his short time as creative director of the brand. There were full-body florals, big bows tied around the neck, and long-sleeved dresses with ruffled bibs. The Gucci of today is never without an eccentric granny vibe, and the show's location offered Michele a perfect opportunity to drive that point home in the form of silk scarves wrapped over models' hair and tied under the chin — a favorite style of The Queen.
One particularly gorgeous dress — a gathered, plaid gown with more freestyle volume than many of Michele's flowing red carpet looks — screamed Dame Vivienne Westwood. The English model Jacquetta Wheeler, a runway rarity these days, walked in a little riding cap and a khaki trench coat. (Her fellow Brit Erin O'Connor, 38, came aboard for the show, too.) On Twitter, Gucci cited "punks, Victoriana, and schoolboys" as sources of inspiration.
On any other occasion, a leopard coat would just be a leopard coat, but in this show it felt like a direct shoutout to that other great British lady, Kate Moss. The turquoise cuffs, of course, were pure Gucci.
Drawing inspiration from a show's location is no new thing. Sometimes it comes off as rather superficial and tone-deaf, as when Chanel's models walked its cruise 2017 show in Cuba wearing berets with distinct Che Guevara vibes. If the Union Jack sweater was somewhat obvious, the other references mixed well with Gucci's smilingly ornate aesthetic. (Whether it was appropriate to hold the show in a church is another matter.) Toss it in Michele's vast treasure chest of reference points, then.