2011 February 23
Milan Fall 2011: Gucci, Alberta Ferretti
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The seventies trend shows no signs of slowing, but who better to capture its contradictions than Gucci? Louche glamour on one hand, primmish office-wear on the other---Frida Giannini's woman straddles both worlds, to unmistakable effect. Her idea of Fall means, in no particular order, leather shirtdresses, transparent chiffon gowns, suede skirts, shiny snakeskin blazers, and more fur than you'll see at a Dennis Basso sample sale. How about a silver fox stole with five-plus tails? A chartreuse collar the size of a throw? A sky blue fox chubby topped with...a blanket-sized fox scarf? Outerwear and accouterments aside, Giannini's masterfully-styled separates showed the kind of gusto that proclaim, Made in Italy. An unforgettable palette of hunter, eggplant, plum, sienna, saffron, olive, and chocolate was tonally assembled for maximum punch on the runway (and sales floor). The body-con pieces, like a skintight leather pencil skirt, were offset by slouchy bouclé jackets, hippie-esque shearlings lined in Mongolian lamb, and wide-leg pleated trousers and culottes. The black and white pieces, such as a dotted tie-neck day dress and a thickly knit cardi paired with a tweedy skirt, were an apt counterpoint to the evening, which was largely long, chiffon, and romantic. Decked out in patches or entire collars of silk petals, the gowns showed the softer side of Giannini's Gucci girl---and this Fall, she's unabashedly beautiful.
Oh, behave! Alberta Ferretti is supporting the late sixties, early seventies look (a little Powers, in a good way) with a collection full of graphic pantsuits, swingy shifts, A-line overcoats, and tunics, tunics, tunics. Equal parts cheek and chic, Ferretti's Fall was anchored in the era with thigh-high go-go boots, often in velvet, but (relatively) unexpected elements like those romantic beaded gowns and some shaved minks kept the collection from trending too literal. Turquoise, burnt orange, saturated rose, and orchid shades packed maximum punch in these covered-up silhouettes, especially the knits. The pantsuit, comprised of a long-sleeved tunic or jacket and tight, slightly flared pull-on pant, was Ferretti's key message, but as usual, it was her beadwork and embellishment that earned the most raucous applause.