Gucci 15As a slavish fan of the Tom Ford era at Gucci, I’ve got to say that Spring 2010 is easily the best collection we’ve seen from current designer Frida Giannini.

Instead of the girly, at times hippie-chic clothes that have come out of her tenure at the company so far, what we saw this season was modern, athletic, and a tad science fiction. Normally those would be words from which I would shy away as descriptors of beautiful clothing, but the high-waist leggings, voluminous jackets and body-conscious dresses make sci fi chic and aspirational – if only Ra’mon from Project Runway had made something like this on last week’s episode, he might not have been auf’d.

But he didn’t, and Frida did, because there’s a reason that she’s employed by one of the largest and most recognizable luxury brands in the world. She started, as has proven popular this season, with white (it would be a full nine looks before another color appeared) and slowly moved herself into light greys before going for bolder books in black, orange, and even a little bit of pink. Print was limited mostly to ikat here and there on smart shift dresses, and the majority of looks were solid and neutral.

But the glut of monochromatic looks didn’t mean there wasn’t texture to spare – stretch jersey was paired with athletic nylon and mesh, delectably dyed crocodile was seen alongside macrame straps and accents. But even when you consider the numerous competing materials, the clothes had a distinct sense of wearability about them – many of those pieces could have come directly off the runway and gone straight out onto the street on the back of an editor or fashionista. It was evident that Giannini had done a consummate job making her sporty, sci-fi fantasy into something couched in real-world elegance.

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