Gucci: colourful and luxurious

Gucci has a way of stopping traffic, even before they unveil a collection. That’s the result of having such a big event in what, at least traffic wise, is too small a location. Without any sizeable footpath, guests of the shows (they host two at Milan fashion week, back to back) compete with cars for road space on these typically Milanese streets and there’s a lot of horns, bluster, and a grid lock.

Inside the imposing facade of the Sheraton, however, it’s a different story. The energy that is outside turns to anticipation as we wait to see what’s taken hold of Frida Giannini’s imagination this season. The answer, as becomes apparent quite quickly, is the 1970s. For fall 2011, Frida has taken the 70s revival as we’ve been seeing it, and – tired of it’s earthy, sepia tones – painted it with a boldly coloured brush. And it’s not just the colours that are indulgent: the collection is no-holds-barred on reptile skin, leather, velvet, and fur.

With Anjelica Huston in mind, Gucci’s collection is a romp through the usual sophisticated 70s suspects: bow blouses, wide leg pants, wide-brimmed hats, and oversized sunglasses, with a forties slant that gives it a silver screen glamour appeal. Accessories this season are similarly bold and ostentatiously luxurious, from jewel-toned structured handbags to towering python heels.

The latter half of the collection is stripped of the layers and swathed in sheer chiffon. In a way, it’s uncharacteristically pretty for one of Frida’s fall offerings. Or rather, it’s not that the femininity of the clothing is uncharacteristic, but that the feminine dresses are such a dominant part of the showing. Pretty need not resort to demure however: Frida can do rosettes and ruffles in volumes and still it’s sexy, slick, and very Gucci. That comes down to the billowing sheer skirts, thigh-high slits, and plunging necklines. And boy oh boy, do these dresses turn heads.

Click on the gallery below to view more pictures from the Gucci fall 2011 runway. You can also take in our video of Gucci’s closing walk by following that link.