Gucci Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Something is happening at Gucci these days. For the past few seasons, it ‘s felt like no matter what the theme, Frida Giannini has to bash you over the head with it. Despite being three cities into the season’s fever for all things 1920s, which includes plenty of fringe and Art Deco, Gucci’s angle for spring feels more inviting than the gimmick-laden collections that have come before it this season and far superior to their own color-saturated mols from last fall.

Blazers were a big focus for Giannini here. One of these came fringed in an architectural/Art Deco pattern, but tailored and cut like a cropped bullfighter’s jacket. The tailoring skewed towards menswear giving the line a refined, sharp edge, like Natasha Poly’s cropped double-breasted captain’s jacket, as the name would suggest.

With the roaring 20s as the pivotal focus (Fetes played on Giannini’s subconscious level so it would seem, with the seasoned Italian house’s 90th being celebrated in Florence next week) there was certainly plenty of fringe, like in that black sheer poolside caftan hemed all around in those delicate frays. Still, it was the industrial touches of gold that grasped at materializing into wares for the real world. It was best expressed in the various bands that bisected the waistline with graphic gold and occasional stripes of black and white, the collection’s two other dominant colors. They helped give the outfits a kinetic verve, and helped in slightly recalling Fritz Lang’s expressionist classic ‘Metropolis’.

Still, not everything worked. A top in a patchwork of black and white spotted prints against a matching geometric patterned skirt was seriously overworked and proved a messy distraction. That’s when the ‘knocking you over the head’ feeling creeped up, but luckily that didn’t last too long. The fringed flapper/Charleston dresses that closed the show were surefire hits from the get-go. It was wonderful to see fringe lose its hokeyness for a change. Expect these to be red carpet fodder come awards season.