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.

Gucci’s Posh Subversion

Godfrey Deeny
June 23rd, 2010 @ 00:34 AM - Milan

In a season where many designers in Milan focused on their brand’s heritage, it was refreshing to attend the spring 2010 men’s wear collection of Gucci, where designer Frida Giannini had the courage to lace her latest take on the house’s patrician aesthetic with a clever dash of subversion and arty rebellion.

Giannini went jet set with an edge for spring 2011, where the lustrous opening suits were a fresh take on haute bohemian dressing. Even the surface sheen of the fabrics – suits that looked like sleek denim but were in fact silk and mohair – caught the subversive theme. Moreover, ties were banished from this Gucci show, staged Monday, June 21, in the house’s custom-built show space in central Milan, replaced by crinkly scarves.

Explaining she was inspired by the “distinctly individual attitude” of Paul Getty III, grandson of the oil billionaire and a much media-followed dandy who spent his formative years in Rome - Giannini’s native city – the designer sent out lots of risqué takes on seductive gentlemanly attire.

Silver plated mesh bracelets from Morocco, where Getty cut a Casanova style swathe through the cool community of “beautiful people,” appeared on many models’ arms; pendants came in haute hippie coral.

Yet though edgy, the collection was thoroughly plausible, especially the accessories, like splendid new slippers in burnished ostrich or canny hues of suede, all finished with a horse bit. Also mixing patrician with folkloric were great cowhide totes and shoulder bags, finished with woven trim or straps, and some super silk sweaters with equestrian motifs. And just when you thought Giannini was being a tad too traditional, she socked the eye with a cool ruffian biker jacket with agreeably outlandish tattoo designs.

However, our favorite moments were the snazzy ‘60s Italian playboy tuxedos. The final one, a micro tuxe with more horsy motifs in a jacquard fabric, was the dinner jacket of this hyper informal Italian men’s season, where no runway model looked like they were going anywhere near an office. This big message was clear, despite our troubled times.

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