Elisa Sednaoui at the Gucci after-party
With the inspired maverick Alessandro Michele at the helm, it is impossible not to be charmed by the utter fearlessness of the new Gucci. Unashamedly eccentric, flamboyant and jaw-droppingly beautiful in its delivery, there is a kind of charged electricity pre-show as we wait for the 2017 Gucci Cruise collection to unfold. We are (somewhat unbelievably) sitting in the 700-year old cloisters of London's Westminster Abbey which Gucci managed to somehow secure for the event – the very place that Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in 1559.
The helter-skelter of a collection darted between inspirations and eras with pure joy. Metallic jacquard bomber jackets and dramatic lace gowns paired with ribboned boaters and giant flowers were closely followed by a bit of urban muscle with splattered bleached denims, football jerseys and embroidered hoodies.
Some familiar faces including '90s stars such as Erin O'Connor and Jacquetta Wheeler made an appearance on the runway dotted between a menagerie of unusual character models that are redefining the industry's ideals of beauty.
Harper's Bazaar Arabia Best Dressed alumn Amina Muaddi outside the Gucci cruise show in London
The whole thing was surreal – and utterly brilliant. And as the haunting solo of the English ballad Scarborough Fair reverberated from the rafters there were more than a few watery eyes on the front row.
Alessandro is exactly what the industry has been missing. Fashion should provoke reaction and clothing should be charged with both a physical and emotional presence at this level. Bohemianism by numbers doesn't work – it's a state of mind, an idealogolgy of rebellion.
What Alessandro is perhaps trying to tell us is that it's good to challenge conformity. Perfection doesn't exist – it's an elitist fantasy. Real beauty comes from being at ease and creating something new. It's improvised and uncontrived – and that's what makes him so important right now.
– Katie Trotter
Watch our video above and don't miss the July/August edition of Harper's Bazaar Arabia to see Katie Trotter's interpretation of the collection in our exclusive shoot.