Photo: Dima Pechurin [Unsplash]

Sabato De Sarno’s dazzling debut: Gucci Cruise triumphs at the Tate Modern

On 14 May, British fashion icons from the likes of Alexa Chung to Dua Lipa and Kate Moss, flocked to London to witness the Gucci Cruise line debut, the first under the newly appointed creative designer, Sabato De Sarno. This debut honoured the humble beginnings of founder Guccio Gucci’s career, having worked as a bellhop at the esteemed Savoy Hotel. Excitingly, the Florence fashion house has once again returned to the city that started it all.

Femininity merges the utilitarian and formal, with the playful

Located in the Tate Modern, De Sarno selected the Turbine Hall,  designed by Herzog and De Meuron, to present his collection. The vast concrete space contrasted with the foliage, later donated to local community projects, which framed the winding runway which the models strutted down, backed to music such as Tirza’s ‘Devotion’ and Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. The audience were assembled on reflective branded boxes seated amongst the greenery, featuring panels of the designer’s staple colour, Ancora red. This setting reflected a collusion of juxtaposing ideas that came to life throughout the show.

Amongst the designs, femininity merges the utilitarian and formal with the playful. Pussy-bow blouses were paired with oversized silhouettes and baggy jeans, whilst floral sheer fabrics were styled with chunky loafers, creating a dichotomy of graceful and bold.

Pastels featured in many looks within the collection, a colour palette I was not expecting to see within the next year, but something I will certainly embrace! I will also never say no to suede or a large baggy coat. Thank you Sabato De Sarno for embracing the models’ natural hair, now when I put in minimal effort, I will just say it’s Gucci-esque!

De Sarno highlights British sophistication with Italian flair – a genuine, metaphorical cruise between the two countries

De Sarno creates a symbiosis of fashion, pairing oversized Harrington jackets with hand-crafted, beaded depictions of plaid. The suits presented, with ditsy floral patterns, acted as a nod to the fashion of the Swinging Sixties. There was a contemporary spin on vintage classics, with looks accompanied by Seventies Blondie bags, a reference to Debbie Harry’s attendance, and a retrospective look at London’s 20th-century subcultures. As British staples, such as mackintosh coats and creeper shoes, were grouped with pencil skirts and the brand’s iconic horse-bit loafers, De Sarno highlights British sophistication with Italian flair – a genuine, metaphorical cruise between the two countries.

The execution of Gucci’s craftsmanship was masterfully exhibited with beaded fringe details adorning the pastel gowns, shimmering and swaying in the light. De Sarno’s immaculate attention to detail was further represented in the numerous handcrafted daisy lace features, which were presented in varying forms throughout the collection. Clearly, modern fashion is embracing complexity and rejecting the ever-popular simplicity!

Throughout the show, De Sarno recognised current trends, with bows gracing the floor, making this ready-to-wear collection a must-have inspiration for any ‘cool’ girl. We can expect 2025 to be the year of the pearl as almost all the looks were paired with a simple threaded necklace, matched with an oversized lobster clasp and minimal jewellery. As many girls can testify, there is a current ballet flat obsession going around, and judging by the looks from the collection, De Sarno clearly agrees that they are here to stay.

These ethereal, flouncing gowns are garments we can expect to see on future red carpets

The show itself served as a timeline of the brand’s history, seeing De Sarno recognise Gucci’s beginnings as a leather goods company. Later designs drew inspiration from mid-century fashion, and others felt reminiscent of Tom Ford’s 1996 Gucci ready-to-wear collection. The show ultimately culminated in contemporary, pastel, plisse, chiffon dresses with shockingly low V-necks and backs. These ethereal, flouncing gowns are garments we can expect to see on future red carpets.

Gucci Cruise 2025 was undoubtedly a success and a fabulous debut of the house’s ready-to-wear collection. The creative directorship of Sabato De Sarno has truly brought a new life to the brand, creating excitement for the future of Gucci.

You can watch the show here.




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