Gucci Cruise 2020 Fashion Diary

Gucci Cruise 2020 Fashion Diary

Go inside the Gucci Cruise 2020 experience with Contributing Fashion Director Gro Curtis' photo diary of the affair.

Go inside the Gucci Cruise 2020 experience with Contributing Fashion Director Gro Curtis' photo diary of the affair.

Text: Gro Curtis

Vanity is a quality of choice in fashion, and when we got invited to a three-day Gucci Cruise 2020 extravaganza in Rome, our first thought was about the beach bodies we’ve worked so hard to attain. To me, Rome means pasta & wine but to Gucci, Rome means the most luxurious and impressive selection of pasta & wine. Needless to say once I landed in Rome, all of my dietary restrictions went down the drain. Just like that, gluten was fine and I pretended like mozzarella and burrata were dairy-free products. After all, it’s not cheating if it happens in a different country… right? Like ancient Romans, we were ready to self-indulge. With Alessandro Michele as the ‘Wizard of Oz’ of this fashion universe, when he invites you to delight, you do just that. 

Hotel in Rome for Gucci Cruise 2020

Rather than booking massive hotels, Gucci provided a unique experience, hosting guests in boutique hotels at the very center of la Città Eterna. We were assigned a beautiful gem near the iconic Pantheon, where la Fontana di Trevi, and Piazza Navona were within walking distance. My colleagues Kate [ Lanphear ] and Nick [ Sullivan ] went to explore the city at 6 AM —now that’s what I call dedication!

Medallion at Gucci Cruise 2020

We received a gift from Alessandro in the form of a silver medallion. On its back, a quote from the legendary French architect and historian Paul Veyne reads, “Because only pagan antiquity could arouse my desire. Because it was the world of the past, because it was a world that no longer exists.” Veyne is one of the best experts on Ancient Roman subjects, pagan culture specifically. Alessandro Michele and ancient Roman pagans seem like a win-win to me.

Cascianelli

The first stop on our Gucci pilgrimage was Antica Libreria Cascianelli, Alessandro’s favorite book store. As one of the oldest in Rome, Cascianelli has a reputation of being a treasure chest of rare books, objets d’art and prints. It’s like stepping into Michele’s complex and seductive mind.

Invitations at Gucci Cruise 2020

The invitations for the show came in the form of antique books, so Alessandro’s idea was to have each of us select a book at Cascianelli of our own. It was all a part of an experience in understanding the secrets of Rome. I chose Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto; an epic poem about love, death, and betrayal with some gigantic sea monsters and flying horses…totally my cup of tea. 

Pasta ahead of Gucci Cruise 2020
Pasta ahead of Gucci Cruise 2020

The welcome dinner was held at the famous Antica Pesa, a family-owned restaurant established in 1922 which holds Insider's prize for the best cacio e pepe. Who likes to eat there? Well…everyone, from Leonardo DiCaprio & Al Pacino to Pedro Almodóvar & Anthony Hopkins. Hollywood royalty knows where to eat. The day after, we visited the Neapolitan restaurant Due Ladroni with equally amazing choices of pasta and seafood. Just hours before our departure for the show, pasta was being served again, and no one said no.

Paolo di Paolo before Gucci Cruise 2020

Our schedule also included a visit to an exhibition by Paolo di Paolo, an Italian photographer who captured the celebrity and intellectual scene and spirit of 50’s and 60’s for Il Mondo newspapers. Di Paolo had close relationships with legends like Anna Magnani and Pier Paolo Pasolini, but he refused to publish or sell many of their photographs out of respect. Di Paolo was considered a hidden gem until his daughter found boxes of some of his most intimate and stunning portraits and snapshots.

Grace Kelly

Mysterious portrait of Grace Kelly by Di Paolo from 1967. This is a breathtaking work of art.

Harry Fever outside Gucci Cruise 2020

Rome is a small city, and Gucci is a large and wonderful beast full of surprises. Hundreds of fans gathered outside of the venue as Harry Styles graced them with his presence. There was a concert-like applause as he entered the show.  

Gucci Gang

As we all know, Gucci has some seriously devoted fans…but this was on another level. There were unique runway looks as far as the eye could see. For these believers, Alessandro is the Pope…and they came to pay their respects in full Gucci gear. The only thing missing was the baby dragon, but everything else was there: from couture umbrellas to accessories you can only see in editorials.

Flashmob

The show was held at Musei Capitolini, a museum containing a massive collection of art and archeological pieces on the top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome. The space was originally conceived by the great Michelangelo and executed over a period of more than 400 years. The museum was extremely democratic yet controversial at the time; it gave people access to beautiful works of art. We were warned in advance that venue would be extremely dark and that we needed flash lights to see the clothes, another brilliant move by Michele. He wanted us to focus our flashlights on details rather than holding our phones for Instagram. 

Cher?

Even though we were prepared for pagan Rome, it seems like the first look was inspired by Cher’s 1986 Oscars look. When you think about it, Cher, like Rome, is eternally iconic. You know the saying, “For each cigarette you smoke, God takes an hour of your life and gives it to Cher.” One of the flashlights pointing at me during the show was courtesy of Naomi Campbell. So, this is my only proper photo from the event.

Stevie Nicks at Gucci Cruise 2020

The front row was buzzing with names like Elton John, Salma Hayek and A$AP Rocky. Rumor had it that that someone special and unexpected would perform at the after party at Palazzo Brancaccio. Once we saw the microphone stand with ribbons and scarfs we knew that our dreams were about to come true. Rock and Roll diva extraordinaire Stevie Nicks is a rare sight, and she rarely does these types of appearances. Luckily, her love and understanding of Michele was strong enough for her to perform her biggest hits (like Edge of Seventeen) where all of us in the front row lost our voices.

Dream Team

Of course we knew Harry Styles would join his spiritual mother, but when it really happened you could hear screaming and gasps from around the room. They ended their performance with Landslide, a song from Stevie’s Fleetwood Mac days. This by far was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. There we were in ancient Rome, under the roof of the grand palazzo, drinking (and eating) our way into the night with Stevie Nicks and Harry Styles. How can you go back to reality after Gucci drowns you in magic? We all knew we were facing hard hangovers, in every sense.

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