When Gucci showed its cruise 2020 collection earlier this year, its chosen venue was the Musei Capitolini in Rome, highlighting the brand's preference for showing high fashion against rich history. And there were plenty of surprises in store. Rather than using conventional lighting, the fashion house chose to illuminate the runway using only torches, lending a curious Night at the Museum air of adventure to proceedings.
Through the darkness, the crowd caught flashes of colour, dresses covered in sparkles, quirky glasses and a new must-have accessory – the guitar case. Forget the "it" bag, Gucci just made it the season of the guitar hard shell.
Since creative director Alessandro Michele is not one to forgo his maximalist tendencies, the humble guitar case has been elevated to a high fashion statement. It has been given the complete Gucci treatment, complete with vintage fabric and an all-over Mickey Mouse print.
Made from decidedly unglamorous polyurethane (yet another example of Gucci making the mundane desirable), this is the latest example of a collaboration with Disney that began in spring/summer 2019. Having already given us a Mickey Mouse head handbag, now Gucci presents the world's most recognisable mouse emblazoned jauntily across its signature interlocking double-G motif, which was made famous in the 1980s.
The same show yielded other eye-popping versions of the guitar case – with brightly coloured Gs in hot yellows and pinks, or in jet black with the words "Gucci Band" added in appliqué leather. True to Michele's vision, this case is both retro and new, and will no doubt sell out as soon as it hits the shelves.
This is not the first time Gucci has ventured into the world of guitars, however. In 2000, the fashion house commissioned the famed luthier Marc Nichol to create a bespoke guitar, of which only 18 were made. Twelve were sold through Gucci stores, with the others given as gifts to musicians such as Madonna, Elton John, The Edge of U2 (who used it in the video for the band's hit song Elevation) and Sting. In a case of life imitating art, the Beastie Boys had sung about a mythical Gucci guitar in the 1989 song Johnny Ryall. When it was finally made, it was a seven-string instrument with Gucci branded on the pickguard, nut and tuning keys, and was originally priced at $25,000 (Dh91,812). In comparison, this guitar case from the cruise collection might well be deemed a bargain.