Viral: Gucci’s show in Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace
Viral: Gucci’s show in Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace Image Credit: @gucci/Twitter

Move over Milan, South Korea seems to be stealing the hearts of fashion aficionados – this week the Italian luxury fashion house Gucci hosted their Cruise 2024 collection show in a 14th-century palace in Seoul.

The floors of Gyeongbokgung Palace turned into a ramp on May 16. Built in 1395, this South Korean national treasure served as the main royal palace of Korea's Joseon dynasty.

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
Constructed in 1395, the Gyeongbokgung Palace was located at the heart of the newly appointed capital of Seoul (then known as Hanyang) and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. The palace is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces (the others being Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace) and served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.

According to the official tour guide book of the Korea Tourism Organisation: "... [The palace] portrays the essence of the Korean royal court culture. Palace walls contain offices for the king and state officials, living quarters, and Huwon Garden, which houses Gyeonghoeru, regarded as the most beautiful pavilion of Korea. Also within palace grounds is the National Palace Museum, which displays relics of the Joseon Dynasty, and the National Folk Museum, where you can see the traditional lifestyle of Korea."

Renowned South Korean composer Jung Jae Il, known for his music in the acclaimed film Parasite and the popular Netflix series Squid Game, set the perfect mood for the event. Models wearing the latest Gucci collection strutted in style to the beats of four songs including ‘The Rope is Tied’ and ‘Round IV’ – original soundtracks for Squid Game.

The show featured the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning South Korean movie Parasite during its finale.

Blending Korean heritage with modern high fashion, this was Asia’s first Gucci cruise collection show. It follows a Louis Vuitton pre-fall fashion show on a Seoul bridge in April – like our editor says: “South Korea is making Asia lead, when it comes to pop culture.”

The fashion collaborations are also a part of the country’s tourism effort for 2023-2024, called the Visit Korea Year, which aims to encourage tourists to visit Seoul.

Models dressed in surfing suits or carrying skateboard-shaped bags, showcased a mix of street and sportswear, as they walked between the ancient pillars of the corridors surrounding the main hall of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This main hall is known for receiving foreign dignitaries visiting South Korea.

Cruise collections are outfits produced by high-fashion brands on top of seasonal lines. They are originally designed for clients who holiday on yachts or cruises during winter months.

According to a social media post by the luxury brand’s official page: “The Gucci Cruise 2024 fashion show drew inspiration from the dialogue between time and traditions often seen on the streets of Seoul, echoed through the setting of Gyeongbokgung Palace in the capital city.”

Global Brand Ambassadors and friends of the House gathered at the Gyeongbokgung Palace to attend the fashion show.

Among the celebrities attending were Gucci’s global ambassadors like Dakota Johnson, South Korean singer IU, British actress and model Jodie Turner-Smith, Japanese actor Jun Shison and actress Ayaka Miyoshi, rapper Jay Park, South Korean actress Lim Ji-yeon, South Korean actors Jung Kyung-ho and Younghoon, South Korean vocalist Juyeon, South Korean actress Lee Yeon-hee, Thai actor Gulf Kanawut, South Korean actor Lee Je-hoon, English musician Mark Ronson, Lee Do-hwan.

South Korean actress Mina Shin, Hanni, a singer of K-pop girl band NewJeans and newly named Gucci brand ambassador, ‘Squid Game’ star Lee Jung-jae, actress Elizabeth Olsen, and the House’s newest global ambassador, Indian actress Alia Bhatt, were also seen at the high-profile event.

Singaporean actress and host Rebecca Lim reportedly flew to Seoul from England, where she's been honeymooning for the past two weeks or so.

According to a Reuters report, 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.