09/18/2013 11:55 EDT | Updated 11/18/2013 05:12 EST

Plunging necklines, bare backs: The heat is on in Milan for Gucci's women next summer

MILAN - The Gucci summer collection for 2014 was more about hot styles than hot weather.

The show on Wednesday, which kicked off Milan Fashion Week's spring-summer womenswear previews, combined see-through fabrics with plunging necklines, bare backs and slit thighs.

The almost-all black collection — with spurts of iridescent colour and gold embroidery — was accompanied by elastic-strapped footwear with metallic cone-shaped heels, right off bondage street.

In her show notes, Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini, said she was inspired by active wear for her "seductive and sensual woman."

There were the maxi T-shirts, bomber jackets, sweat pants and linear embroidery typical of sportswear, but Gucci's pleated chiffon, sequins and netting were definitely for "apres-gym."

Giannini said the shimmering art deco embroidery that embellished many of the outfits was inspired by Erte, a Russian-born artist famous for his costume designs for such daring productions as the Folies Bergere.

Although Erte spent most of his creative years in Paris, he never lost his Russian flare, which was apparent in some of the gilded geometric designs used in the Gucci collection. The collection also drew inspiration from the kimono, a traditional Asian style.

Perhaps the inspiration in Milan was not so random, with designers keen on pleasing their new fans in Russia and China.

The latest Gucci bags looked to please all types. It came as a maxi clutch, a shopper or a small shoulder bag in black or bright colours, in luxurious python or simple suede, accompanied by a long draping fringe.