ROME — Diversity, inclusivity, self-expression, freedom and most of all, love. These were all themes and concepts Alessandro Michele wanted to express and encapsulate in his resort collection. Themes and concepts that are highly relevant now in 2019, but which were considered taboos in the Italy of the Seventies when Roman artist Renato Zero, who was among the guests at the Gucci show, reached success because of his provocative songs, as well as with a dramatic, eye-catching look that played with fluidity and ambiguity.
“The stage is a boxing ring when the artist stands up for change and for the needs of the public, but he also represents a revolution which I think I really promoted in this country. I really hope that there are some ‘Renatini’ around who continue my job,” said Zero, who was among the first in the Seventies to face sensitive themes with his songs, including pedophilia.
Like Michele, Zero used fashion as a powerful form of communication. “I basically invented my own fashion. Having no references in the conservative country that Italy was at that time I had to fight against those restrictions. I always looked at England and all those countries where fantasy is considered as a natural form of self-expression,” said the artist, who will kick off a new tour in November, maybe with some Gucci outfits. “Alessandro and I share a lot of things. We will probably have to do a partnership for the tour.”
Diversity and inclusivity were certainly at the core of the list of celebrities who attended the show, including music icons Sir Elton John and A$AP Rocky and members of the movie and art worlds such as Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and art curator Milovan Farronato.
Among the VIPs who enjoyed a vacation in the Eternal City was Jodie Turner-Smith. “This morning I went to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel and it was just epic,” said the actress, who is working on a film called “After Yang,” in which she plays a woman who, along with her husband (played by Colin Farrell) adopts a Chinese daughter who is supposed to be babysat by a robot, which breaks down.
“It’s a really beautiful, emotional story about people connecting to each other,” said Turner-Smith. “It’s about how to be connected when you are still separate. Do you achieve that through technology or empathy? That’s the big question!”
There are no robotic babysitters in the life of Zoe Saldana, who came to Rome for the show with her husband, artist Marco Perego, and their children. “We are here with our little boys. There is not so much you can do when you have three little boys under five that are super jet-lagged,” said Saldana, who will star in the sequel to the blockbuster “Avatar.” “I’m just vacationing with my boys and supporting my husband, who just closed a show in Paris.”
It was the first time in Rome for Hollywood couple Lucas Hedges and Taylor Russell. “We had a lot of pasta and we are going to eat more pasta,” said Hedges, who is taking a little break from the set. “We both worked for three years straight and we are doing a little vacation now…we went to Hawaii, now here in Rome and then Los Angeles.”
Following the runway show, Gucci hosted a party at Palazzo Brancaccio, where guests were entertained with DJ sets by Zumi Rosow and Bradford Cox, who modeled on the Gucci resort catwalk, as well as by a performance by music icon Stevie Nicks.
British singer, songwriter and actor Harry Styles also made an appearance, where Gucci offered a preview of its campaign dedicated to the Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur fragrance, which will hit stores in August. Styles is one of the faces of the campaign, which was photographed by Glen Luchford and includes designer Harris Reed, Rosow, artist Ariana Papademetropoulos, actor and musician Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, artist Olimpia Dior and musician Leslie Winer.