London's Westminster Abbey has hosted royal weddings as well as burials and memorials for numerous famous British subjects. On Thursday, its cloisters were the setting for a rather different gathering – a fashion show. Italian luxury label Gucci brought fashion’s elite to the famed venue, where Britain's Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, to present its 2017 cruise collection.
With "Punks, Victoriana and schoolboys" the inspiration for creative director Alessandro Michele, models hit the walkways of the cloisters, which date from the 13th to 15th centuries, in bold designs adorned with peacocks and snakes. Dresses sported lace and frills, skirts came in colorful check prints and handbags were decorated with floral embroideries. There was also plenty of ruffles and polka dots.
The decision to hold the show in the Abbey did draw criticism from some religious figures. London newspaper The Evening Standard quoted Michele as defending his location choice because "history is what is really cool.”
The Gucci show in London follows French fashion house Dior's cruise line presentation at the majestic Blenheim Palace outside Oxford, northwest of London, earlier this week. Cruise collections, originally designed for wealthy clients holidaying on yachts or cruises during the winter months, are outfits produced by stylists on top of seasonal lines.