Mixing old and new, Gucci hosts show in 14th century Seoul palace

Models walk on the runway during Gucci Cruise 2024 collection fashion show at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, South Korea, 16 May, 2023.Reuters

With sparkling lights and beating drums, Italian luxury label Gucci took over a 14th century Seoul Palace on Tuesday to showcase its cruise collection, blending Korean heritage and modern fashion.

In a mix of street and sportswear, models dressed in surfing suits or carrying skateboard-shaped bags strutted between ancient pillars in corridors surrounding the main hall of the Gyeongbokgung palace.

Wide-leg trousers were slit at the knees, coats were belted and T-shirts hung loose.

The show, featuring the soundtrack of Oscar-winning South Korean movie ‘Parasite’ during its finale, was the first of its kind to take place within the palace's courtyard.

Gucci planned to stage a show at the same venue last year but cancelled after a deadly Halloween crush in Seoul that killed 159 people.

A model presents a creation by Italian brand Gucci during the Gucci 2024 Cruise Collection Fashion Show at Gyeongbok-gung Palace in Seoul on 16 May, 2023.

Among the celebrities attending were Hanni, a singer of K-pop girl band NewJeans and newly named Gucci brand ambassador, ‘Squid Game’ star Lee Jung-jae, rapper Jay Park and actress Elizabeth Olsen.

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.

The Gucci cruise show follows a Louis Vuitton pre-fall fashion show on a Seoul bridge in April.

Built in 1395, the Gyeongbokgung palace served as the main royal palace of Korea's Joseon dynasty.

The South Korean national treasure became the latest iconic landmark chosen by Gucci to showcase its collection.

Gucci, owned by French luxury group Kering PRTP.PA, parted ways with its star designer Alessandro Michele last November as sales lagged competitors.

The brand will welcome its new creative director, Sabato De Sarno, later this year.