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Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 8:37:52 AM
by suzy menkes
Models presenting creations for Gucci. Seldom has active wear looked so big and bold.
At Gucci, designer Frida Giannini attempts to mix sport and cocktail.
ARE there “One Thousand and One Nights” when you could go out wearing a Gucci dress, visible bra under sheer mesh top and a skirt with a digitally enlarged Art Deco pattern?
There are probably many hundreds of dress-up evenings available to the Glam Slam clientele whom the designer Frida Giannini seems to be after. They are the people for whom the 1980s, of happy memory, was rather too low key – although they might like the sporty vibe running through the Gucci show: giant T-shirts, suede bomber jackets, silken jogging pants and mesh tops cut out of strips of suede that also dangled as fringe from the black bamboo handles of shoulder bags.
Seldom has active wear looked so big and bold. But it seemed a shame, after all that gym exercise and toning, that nothing was designed to fit – although shapely legs emerged from slits in the floaty dresses.
Giannini had the words for it: “ethereal physicality”.
Backstage, the designer also said “Erté,” referring to the pseudonym of the graphic designer Romain de Tirtoff whose distinctive prints defined the 1920s and who famously created ensembles for Paul Poiret’s “The Thousand and Second Night” ball in 1911.
What did all that historical background mean for Gucci? Gorgeous colours – rich and deep, but dark (especially for summer). The oranges and pinks in sinuous patterns gave way to purple, pink and those greenery-yallery colours of the era.
Giannini has had other bouts of historic inspiration, some of which have been brilliant, others less so. This show was in the latter category, because the clothes needed rigorous lines, not slithery softness, to make sense of the pattern. And because orientalism, with its kimono sleeves and elongated silhouette, looks too much like costume.
Maybe sport and cocktails just don’t mix so well. And the visible bra surely is, even for the flashiest wearer, well past its sell-by date. – IHT
Masterpiece theatre of Milan fashion
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Lifestyle, Gucci, Milan Fashion Week, 2013
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