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Milan Fashion Week: Gucci's subtle seduction

September 22, 2010 | 11:08 am

Gucci2jumpsuit Seductive, not in-your-face sexy. That was the message at Gucci, where designer Frida Giannini opened Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday with a tribal-tinged trek through Marrakech. The theme could easily have taken a turn into costume territory had Giannini not put such an emphasis on luxurious-looking tailoring and handcrafted leather details.

Giannini addressed fashion's cleaned-up mood by working with a lot of neutral shades (a sand-colored silk strapless jumpsuit was a winning look), with a dash of spice -- cinnamon, turquoise, purple and jade green.

There was more than one nod to the 1970s (and Yves Saint Laurent), but unlike in New York, there were no midi-length skirts.

Guccipants1 Instead, the focus was on pants: a high-waisted jade-green pair worn with a gold woven-leather obi belt and a cinnamon-colored jacket nipped in at the waist; fluid jodphurs paired with a soft safari jacket and tassel belt; and textured leather leggings with tops of suede crochet or swinging fringe. (The one lapse in judgment was a group of tuxedo one-pieces with harem pants. No matter how hard designers have tried, have harem pants ever really taken off?)

Gucci3harem Occassionally, the tribal feather, jewel and fringe details were a bit heavy-handed, particularly on the short finale dresses, which also seemed reminiscent of those shown on the Lanvin runway back in February.

But all in all, this was a strong collection, balancing function with fantasy. It was also refreshing to see a less aggressive stance from Giannini -- and not to spot a single Gucci logo. Instead, leather accessories had a more easygoing, natural feel -- cage leather booties and sandals on skinny heels, for example, and soft totes and clutches with basket-weave details.

-- Booth Moore in Milan

Gucci spring - summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Gucci spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times