"Sophisticated and essential" is how Gucci designer Frida Giannini described the elegant collection that kicked off Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday.
Based on a simple elongated silhouette with artful cutouts and decorative flounces, accessorized by skinny high-heeled cage sandals and oversized 1970s costume jewelry, the collection comes in bold shades of fuchsia, coral, kiwi green, mustard yellow and electric blue.
Total black or total white underline the couture feel of the collection, as do the delicate prints reminiscent of Japanese floral wallpaper, the penthouse pajama pants or the bell sleeves of a simple cocktail sheath.
But Giannini is very much a contemporary designer, and her couture comes with an edge. This is seen in the sophisticated ankle straps of the sandals decorated with the logo horse bit, the plexiglass clutch bag, and the snake skin patterns for evening wear.
Over the next six days, more than 60 of Italy's top designers, including Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce&Gabbana, Fendi and Ferragamo will present their take on next summer's well-dressed and well-heeled woman.