Gucci takes audience on 70s trip during MFW

Thursday, 18 September 2014
Gucci took its audience on a mind-expanding trip back to the early 1970s on Wednesday as the global style powerhouse unveiled its 2015 Spring/Summer womenswear collection. Skirts were cut above the knee, or shorter, whilst prints had a slight psychedelic edge to them and there was a bit of a nautical/pirate theme running through a set that included plenty of embroidery and gilt-edged, oversized buttons on short-cut jackets featuring a range of exotic materials including python and Mongolian lamb.

There was also a range of three-quarter length, flared trousers and tight-waisted trench coats in an eclectic mix the company itself dubbed "kaleidoscopic glamour". Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini has long been a fan of the hippy era and she gave full vent to that particular enthusiasm, to the show's audience.

Charlotte Casiraghi, who is a top-level showjumper, has long been an ambassador for the company's equestrian line of clothing and she has now become the face of its cosmetics collection, which made its catwalk debut during the show.

Singular style

Elsewhere, there was much interest in the collection presented by Angelos Bratis, the latest young designer to be taken under the fatherly wing of Giorgio Armani. The Greek's mastery of dresswear is seen by some to be sufficiently impressive for him to be considered a potential successor to Armani, should the dean of Italian fashion decide to hand over the creative leadership of his global style empire.

Anxious to make the most of the additional interest generated by Armani's sponsorship, Bratis restricted his show to a small selection of sensual evening dresses in featherweight textiles including crepe de Chine and silk twill. Many of them featured bold geometric patterns and vivid splashes of colour, offsetting the generally understated palette of the materials.

Bratis said he had deliberately opted for a pared-down collection to make the most of his moment in the spotlight to promote his own singular style. With Milan's position as the undisputed centrepoint of global high-fashion perceived to be under threat, it badly needs the world to embrace the likes of Bratis and other young designers seeking to make their mark in a landscape dominated by designers well past the age of retirement.

The competition is getting stronger all the time. Bratis is the latest in a series of young designers who have benefited from Armani's sponsorship, following in the footsteps of other promising emerging talents including Stella Jean and Julian Zigerli. Stella Jean's latest collection was well received with the upcoming star -- who is half Haitian - going even further than Gucci did in her blending of materials in a bold Caribbean-influenced range of colours. (Angus Mackinnon, AFP)

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