MILAN, Italy — Designer Frida Giannini took the Gucci brand back to its heyday — well, one of them, there have been a few — and produced a clean and focused collection that gave a modern twist to the 1960s Mod fashion movement.
Echoing the pastel candy colors seen during the menswear show in January, the Gucci woman this season basically claimed the coolest pieces from her man’s closet and made them her own. There were some fantastic denim jeans that found a way to be both slim and seductively slouchy. Leather bib ruffled tuxedo shirts, which the designer herself proved could work in a real world setting when she donned one to take her bow. And a covetable dusty rose biker jacket, in what looked to be one of Giannini’s techno savvy leather hybrid designs, was also a winner.
When she wasn’t offering up boyish pieces, the designer hammered home the '60s vibe with a number of shagalicious, high impact outerwear options cut in long-haired luxe pelts of shearling, beaver, goat hair and mink or alternatively using the classic '60s silhouette of an A-line mini dress. These she outfitted with buttery leather accents or, for evening, covered them in hand painted pyramids of crystals that peeped out from the folds of a skirt, forming a bib front or caressing the shoulders.
The pared down look of the collection worked well for the designer and made it easy to spot a number of pieces that screamed “waitlist.” There were the retro chic dégradé translucent shades, the “these boots are made for walking” python boots (with the iconic horse bit buckle embellishing the toe) and a “perfect for travel” unlined and light-as-air version of the classic Gucci 'Jackie' bag. And those were just the accessories. We haven’t even gotten to the jaguar animal print pieces or the double-breasted mohair peacoats.
The foregoing of any floor skimming gowns this season was an interesting choice for Giannini. Her eveningwear for the 2013 Winter season dominated the covers of over 100 glossy fashion magazines. But it was a decision that was very much in keeping with the youthful, if seriously luxe, attitude of this show.
By going back to codes of the brand or what Giannini called “the essence of Gucci,” she underlined the impact this house’s heritage has had on modern fashion. While her distinctive color palette, expert tailoring, commitment to luxe materials and a continued exploration of techno treatments made the collection feel just as modern as it did Mod.
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