Now that Pantone has crowned Marsala as its chosen color for 2015, you need look no further than Gucci for proof of its desirability. The house’s Pre-Fall collection was awash in a similar brick-red hue, cut here with a dusty blue. But that was not the only forecasting to emerge from the brand’s Florence showroom today: If creative director Frida Giannini has her way, the ’70s revival that is already upon us will last past next summer and into fall. Of course, that era marked a golden age for Gucci and has remained a constant reference point for the brand ever since. But just as one letter separates referential from reverential, small details can result in an entirely different collection. Here, the offering proved stylistically sharp (flats for evening!) and negligibly nostalgic. Flared pants jauntily cloaked the pointy-toe brogues, while knee-length, printed silk chemisier dresses felt attractively seasonless and ageless in equal measure.
Those prints, as it happens, made a U-turn from the painterly Resort collection florals created by artist Kris Knight, who was enthusiastically feted by Giannini at Art Basel in Miami Beach last week. This latest crop veered geometric, the most notable featuring a lattice pattern arranged fluidly like an op art illusion around the body. Even a stacked leaf print, appealingly rendered in contrasting warm and cool tones, seemed more camo than botanical.
Zoom out from these particulars and you find a collection that alternated between amped up and pared back. Clusters of crystals adorned distressed jeans, and studs followed the pattern of Nordic-inspired sweaters. Luxurious but understated leather and suede coats and daywear dresses, meanwhile, came unlined and unstructured; ditto a brushed double-face wool camel coat. Essentially, these were different sides of the same craftsmanship coin-it’s just that the former appeals to the Gucci customer who buys for the statement (her best bet: the embellished Persian lamb cropped jacket with shaggy Mongolian trim), and the latter attracts the client who prioritizes staying power. This season, they might find common ground with a new bag: The boxy accordion construction-in shiny calfskin or python-hinged monogram closure, and double-chain straps were a throwback to the ’70s, but the effect was still fresh.