Gucci Spring 2012 Review

Gucci Spring 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Gucci Spring 2012 collection

Show: Gucci

Hair: Luigi Murenu

Makeup: Pat McGrath

Accessories: Faceted gold high-heeled sandals, python slouch-bags, boxy clutches—one trimmed with floor-skimming ostrich-plumes

Overall takeaway: The ’20s are back, and the crowds were roaring

Gucci is 90 this year—although by the cut of Frida Giannini's tight little dresses and slender trousers, you'd never guess she was a day over 20. And, incidentally, the ’20s were exactly where the designer looked to for inspiration for her Spring 2012 collection.

What was her take-away from that decade? The graphic lines of the Chrysler building, the black and gold color palette that enlivens the lobby of many an interwar apartment building, and the precious, paillette-strewn evening gowns that seem like the only attire to drink a martini in true elegance. Giannini had a fair few of those stunners, but she also applied those eveningwear decorations to otherwise simple, slick day clothes. Well, "day" may be an exaggeration when it comes to gilded python-skin T-shirts sliced apart and re-configured into zebra-stripes, but the silhouettes throughout were clean and simple.

It was those modern glances that looked the freshest on Giannini's runway. When the true Jazz Babe frocks shimmered out, all bugle-bead fringe and trailing ostrich feathers, it seemed more a set-piece than a fashion show. It was hard to imagine the high-octane celebrities that are Gucci's bread and butter putting on the Ritz in quite so literal a rehash of their great- (or sometimes great-great) grandmother's glad-rags. But when Giannini stayed close to the Gucci tradition, even those flapper shapes worked. One was laser-cut in leather so fine it looked like silk fringe, and another came in silk swirled in Gucci whiplash scarf-print. If you're looking for something to wear to the opening of Florence's new Gucci Museo, there's your outfit.