Madeleine de Scudéry’s 1654 book Carte de Tendre sets the mood for Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-to-Wear show, the second by new-ish Creative Director, Alessandro Michele.  Michele was relatively unknown at the time of his appointment a year ago; however, he was previously head of accessories design at Gucci and has been at the design house for more than a decade.  So it’s not surprising that accessories played a major supporting role in this show.

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But the unmistakable stars at Gucci’s show were love, travel and prints; “Carte de Tendre” means “Map of Love.”  Michele’s collection doesn’t have the brash sexuality of Tom Ford’s Gucci designs or the polished sophistication of Frida Giannini’s.  Instead, this interestingly eccentric collection, featuring male and female models, was full of huge, thick, square-framed 1970s style glasses, frilly tops buttoned all the way up and ethereal see-through fabrics.  Most of the designs featured multiple bold patterns inspired by a different type of jet-setting lifestyle: Asian motifs like lily pads, peacocks and koi fish on one outfit, a skirt with printed animals like those on ancient Grecian urns, your Granny’s dining room wallpaper on a dress, and printed snakes (not snake prints) on a Spanish-themed suit.

The romantic elements of the show included delicately ruffled collars and pleats, pastel colored rosettes at the collar, lots of pussy-bow blouses and soft rose-colored fabrics that were set off against vibrant prints, Gucci’s trademark green and red, and a few bold sequined designs.  While there were touches of the 1970s via pleats, flairs, platform peep-toed high heels, giant glasses and bowl haircuts, as a whole, the show wasn’t definitively tied to a single time period.

The geeky, quirky and fun show has been very well received .  The collection is undeniably interesting and cool in a slightly frumpy way.  Expect more of the same from Michele who has firmly moved away from Gucci’s traditional sexy, slinky dresses, black and gold designs, and the ubiquitous double-G logo patterns.  The new Gucci is at the same time dreamier and more earthy.

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Photos: Vogue.com

By Anushila Shaw