Romance, Activism and Mystery: Six Highlights From GucciFest

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Photography by Paige Powell

From talks and documentaries to surrealist shorts, we round up some of the best moments from Gucci’s first online film festival

This year, Gucci launched an online film festival in place of their typical runway shows. The week-long event, titled GucciFest, was packed full of visual delights: there were talks, documentaries, surrealist shorts, and cutting-edge animations, as well as a varied host of celebrity cameos. The festival was underpinned by a mini-series co-directed by Gus Van Sant and Alessandro Michele, entitled OUVERTURE of Something that Never Ended, which showcased the brand’s latest collection.

GucciFest officially came to an end on Sunday, but all of the films are now available to view online. To save you some time, we rounded up some of our highlights.

1. Bianca Saunders’ quest to find the perfect man

Breakout London designer Bianca Saunders interviews eight different men about their perceptions of masculinity in this three-minute short. The Pedestrian – which draws inspiration from Hans Eijkelboom’s 1978 art project, The Ideal Man – showcases Saunders’ boundary-breaking designs, while exploring society’s dominant notions of manhood.

2. A Trip to The Vintage Shop, with Florence Welch

Gucci’s new collection was showcased over a seven-part mini-series, with one episode being revealed each day. In the penultimate short, titled At The Vintage Shop, we see protagonist Silvia Calderoni rummage around a second-hand clothing store. While in there, she encounters an enigmatic stranger – played by singer Florence Welch – who is tucking secret messages into the vintage pieces. The episode serves as a dreamy interlude, giving viewers a chance to absorb some of the collection’s more lavish looks.

3. A Love Story to Activism, by Ahluwalia

Part documentary, part feature, Joy is a phantasmagoric short celebrating the “everyday beauty and strength of Black existences”. It features interviews with London-based community leaders, poets and political activists – all while subtly showcasing the latest collection by British menswear designer Priya Ahluwalia.

4. Miranda July, Kim Gordon and Curtis Harding on creativity

Running alongside GucciFest, on the brand’s Instagram, were a series of talks and discussions with some of the world’s most pioneering and diverse creative talents. Below is the finale, which features filmmaker and author Miranda July picking the brain of musicians Kim Gordon and Curtis Harding. There were plenty of others over the week, too, with Phoebe Bridgers, Hari Nef, Petra Collins and Raven Smith all taking part in some Gucci-adjacent discussions (you can watch them all back on Instagram).

5. Stefan Cooke’s romantic reimagining of Britain

In Advent, London designers Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt pay tribute to the UK, mixing contemporary culture with a generous scattering of whimsy, romance and nostalgia. The three-minute short, which is shot entirely in monochrome, combines evocative archive footage with the label’s latest looks.

6. And finally, Harry Styles in hot pants

Well, denim shorts. Harry Styles’ fleeting cameo in At The Post Office – the third episode of Gucci’s OUVERTURE of Something that Never Ended – went viral last week, with the musician’s ensemble the topic of much discussion (a bubblegum pink t-shirt, loafers and jorts, in case you missed it). The short also showed off his budding acting talent, with Styles contemplating the nature of creativity with Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva.

See the rest of the films, as well as the full lineup, on the official GucciFest website.