MILAN - The Gucci woman next winter is a playful mixture of demure and daring.
"She seduces with her dangerous femininity," writes creative director Frida Giannini in her show notes for the collection presented Wednesday, the first day of Milan Fashion Week for fall-winter 2013-2014.
For example, while the season's pencil skirt has a proper several-inches-below-the-knee hemline, the slits up the front and back are not necessarily ladylike.
Or take the little black dress, a cocktail-hour must — until Giannini ups the ante with fetching see-through lace, leather inserts and low-cut backs and necklines.
In the constructed collection, jackets are generally small, with either a soft or well-defined shoulder. Coats are cut close to the body, except for a single mannish coat in cornflower blue with a black Astrakhan collar. Skirts are worn high for a delicate take on the waist, and the tapered and short pants are more sweet than sexy.
However, the recurrent fishnet tights complete with black seam underlined the fetching mood of the collection.
There were hints of feathers and spangles in the daytime wear, but these burst out in firework proportions for the evening. More than one dress was made up of a combination of feathers, sequins, lace and leather, fashioned in a revealing silhouette.
Along with basic black, the Gucci palette included wine purple, orange rust, moss green and a range of delicate blues.
Fabrics went from silk to soft wool and lace. Leather, a Gucci staple, appeared in everything from a suit to a T-shirt. Snakeskin, another Gucci favourite, was used not only for bags and shoes, but also for outfits.
Footwear was either booties, boots or sandals, all with a sharp and sexy high heel. The latest bag is structured with a luggage lock, and the traditional bamboo handle.
Models wore dark eye makeup and their hair severely pulled back.
The mood of the collection might have been dark, but it was a radiant Giannini who took a runway bow at the end of show, wearing an ample wool sweater that made no attempt to hide the baby girl she's expecting next month.