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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Gucci: Constructivist Cool

Godfrey Deeny
January 14th, 2008 @ 2:10 PM - Milan

Word up to Pete Doherty. If you had enjoyed a private education and were obsessed with Russian Futurism, this Gucci collection is what you would be wearing today.

In what was easily designer Frida Giannini’s most accomplished show to date, we got a fall 2008 men’s collection that was a mix of Anglo-Italian silhouettes, fabrics and attitudes, but pumped up with rocker references and St. Petersburg grandeur.

Though Frida told FWD backstage she has never actually been to Russia, her fertile imagination brought us a new hipster nomenclature, especially in a wonderful finale, where lead guitarists, Gordon of Khartoum, Lermontev’s tragedians and the look of Eugene Hutz, lead singer of New York band Gogol Bordello all met in a gloriously romantic and rebellious event.

She opened with public school groovers in low slung, slim-line three-piece dandy suits, all of them looking great, especially those with a Norfolk cut. Giannini also did a take on a big Milan item this season, the cardigan, part of the contemplative mood hitting, sub prime wary Italy.

Giannini is clearly gaining confidence as a designer, and came up with a neat new accessory – a scarf and chain belt that was a fabulous new addition, and one that is sure to be copied by lesser mortals.

Ties were banished, scarves ruled; velvet triumphed, boots had enough studs for a Siberian metalist bassist. Models strutted with black eye liner and masses of curls, a homage to Kate Blanchett’s recent interpretation of Bob Dylan in “I´m Not There.”.

The setting was astutely judged, a jagged patterned carpet and cathedral high walls of a virtual hotel. Plus the finale was sensational – Anthony and the Johnsons’ plaintiff version of ¨Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” as five fur clad lead singers toured like Gordon of Khartoum warriors meets Viktor Tatlin.

While she’s been a hit at retail, Giannini has not been universally admired by fashion critics of either men’s or women’s wear. What she badly needed was a hit, and this collection was very much that - a lean, juicy fine cut of filet mignon.

Frida’s other problem was that though abundantly gifted technically, there were doubts that she had a sufficiently individualistic vision to take Gucci somewhere new. This assured take of rocker chic and artful style eradicates that concern. This was the moment she needed.

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