Gucci Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Milan

It is a bit of an accepted fashion truth that more often than not when a female designer is expecting it tends to show in her collections. Bucking this trend designer Frida Giannini, who looks to be due any time now, did not send out a fall/winter 2013 collection filled with voluminous clothing in forgiving silhouettes.  In point of fact, this was one of the most successfully sexy Gucci shows the designer has produced for the brand in recent memory.

Giannini’s feisty femme fatales took to the catwalk with slicked back hair, stiletto booties and fishnet stockings. The collection had a just a hint of the 1950s to its, thanks to the designer’s chosen skirt length, classic structured bags with their bamboo handles and a haunting soundtrack. These would be the clothing Alfred Hitchcock’s heroines would wear (more Tippy Hedren than Grace Kelly) if they were working today. 
If there was any nod to the designer’s pregnancy it could possibly be inferred in the softer egg shaped shoulders featured on jackets and coats cut with gilded oversized fern leaf motifs or in an blurred Prince of Wales pattern. But when paired with pencil skirts and dresses sculpted to the body in hourglass shapes, they looked powerful.

There was a real focus on the neck and shoulders in this show with the designer offering up second skin turtleneck tops cut from supple leather or glossy snakeskin (both in pitch black). They showed up under a burgundy ponyskin skirt suit or one cut in a rust colored Astrakhan. Jackets and dresses came with shoulder skimming portrait necklines, designed as if with just the brush of a lover’s hand they would slide to the floor. Or if the ensemble had a reserved neckline in the front, say on an icy blue silk dress, it would reveal a sliver of skin in the back.

When the designer moved into eveningwear she became even more daring. To the song “I’m Deranged” by David Bowie, Giannini echoed the look of the show’s fishnet stockings and those feather-like faun leaves on sheer black lace tops (paired with liquid satin pants or skirts in dark jewel tones) and floor length gowns. She then embellished the lace using couture techniques to blend sequins, studs, and feathers in a way that made each model look like an exotic bird of prey. It made for a strong finish to a fine show. One that the designer can be proud of while she is on her maternity leave.

- Jessica Michault

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