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“Englishness with an Italian accent,” said Gucci’s Sabato De Sarno of his first destination show for the Italian mega brand. Gucci’s Cruise ’25 was held in the “tanks” of London’s Tate Modern, where the concrete vastness of the underground space was transformed, over five days, into to a lush garden by an army of horticulturalists, (with all the plants donated to community projects after the show).

This was the designer’s third show for the brand and his first destination show with each outing showing a little more of what fires Sabato up. “I owe a lot to this city, it has welcomed and listened to me. The same is true for Gucci, whose founder was inspired by his experience there,” said the designer referring to Guccio Gucci’s lightbulb moment – after working as an elevator operator at The Savoy hotel he returned to Italy and in 1921 began making luxury luggage inspired by the hotel’s guests.

On the catwalk the designer presented a marriage of English spirit and Italian flair. The first looks laid out his approach. A series of exquisitely crafted suede pieces – tailored jackets, caban coats, hot pants and mod tunics – all bore the unmistakable touch of Gucci’s artisans. Worn with Sloaney pussy bow blouses, (made sexy in sheer wisps of chiffon), baggy jeans, punky studded brothel creepers, monogrammed ballet pumps and supersized Jackie bags (big enough, perhaps to kill off the mini bag fad?). It brought into focus the Sabato effect. Gucci today equals classic-meets-oh-so-now-proportions, served with an unmistakable dash of Italian craft and sensuality.

Daisies, embroidered onto delicate sheer skirts and blouses, or printed onto pleated chiffon gowns brought a new whimsical sense of play to Sabato’s sleek signatures. And heritage was never far away. Dusted down and refreshed for 2024 is the Blondie bag. First introduced in the 1970s, it’s now a supple hand-stitched caramel leather beauty. For those who couldn’t wait until October to get one, a limited number were on sale the day after the show. Afterwards, the 600 guests including Kate Moss, Demi Moore (with her tiny dog), Debbie Harry, Dua Lipa, Solange and Paul Mescal were joined by 200 art and fashion students who’d watched the show in the museum’s Starr Cinema. They partied under a three-storey-high glitter ball, in the Turbine hall, and with Mark Ronson and Arca on DJ duty no one went home early. Carriages at 3am. Let the Gucci good times roll.