Frida Giannini had images by Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri on her mind when she was designing her spring / summer 2013 collection. ‘Everything that was chic and heroic about the late 1960s and early 1970s, female icons like Veruschka,’ she said.
The result was a triumvirate of pitch-perfect trend hits. With high-octane colour, minimalism and the season’s go-to era of choice, Giannini’s Gucci could not have been more in step.
The mood was bright and uplifting. Her message clear – she had stripped Gucci back to its modern essence, while capturing the optimistic elegance of a former decade. But at no point did this collection not look modern.
Out stepped the fuchsia first. A bold, spare statement in the form of a lean trouser suit with gently flaring legs, a form-fitting skirt and blouse with voluminous sleeves, slender tunics with flared sleeves and trousers to match and long lithe columns with a single ruffle at the neck or tumbling down the spine.
The show proceeded in blocks of colour - cobalt blue, emerald and spicy saffron – interspersed with prints – snake (another season favourite) and a beautiful large oriental bloom, a sea anemone taken from Japanese wallpaper.
As the proceedings turned to after dark, extravagant necklaces in jet decorated collarbones or a grid of sparkling black mesh crystal adorned the shoulders of a sharp little cocktail dress.
But it was the white evening gowns – fluid, ankle-sweeping, plunging and striking in their simplicity – that recalled Tom Ford’s seminal Gucci show at the creative apex of his tenure – remoulded here, of course, in Giannini’s inimitable feminine hand.
While Giannini continues to deliver, season after season, Gucci Woman to the World, this felt more like deliverance – her creativity liberated – rather than merely the next season’s new delivery.