Milan Fashion Week: Gucci spring/summer 2012
Irresistible dropped-waist dresses, in gold, white, emerald and black made for a sexy but equally boyish homage to the Twenties.
The bronzed brunette wearing a Gucci halter neck chiffon evening dress, matching emerald fox stole and somebody else's (a 12 year old's?) lips looked as though she'd got lost on the way to the Emmy's. That'll be where the Gucci show is, i thought. You don't dress down for this one, even if you're only watching.
Frida Giannini, Gucci's creative director, would approve. She believes in glamour. Even when times are tough. Especially when times are tough. Even at 2pm on a boiling hot afternoon. But getting the tone right can be tricky. So with meticulous logic, she looked for an even worse economic moment than the current one to see how they did it.
I've been battening down the hatches in preparation for an onslaught of flapper fronds and fringes ever since they announced that Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan were starring in the remake of The Great Gatsby . And here they were. Mainly in gold, white, emerald and black, they swished and shimmered from dropped waistbands and knocked every man in the room dead, especially when one or two swished to reveal not-so subtle glimpses of naked skin and lots of toned bicep. This was a new kind of body-con and if you could have read the invisible thought bubbles hovering above every woman in that audience, you would have seen the words: "How big will my bum look in that?" writ large, and "do they do arm transplants yet?".
In normal circumstances, a drop waist is evey sentient woman's nightmare. But these dresses were irrisitable - as sleek, hard and clean-lined as an art-deco cigarette holder. More importantly, they were cut to swing from quite high on the hip, often with a little insert of pleats that created a modern slouchy effect. I can't guarantee this of course, models tending not to be big in the rear department - but these dresses seemed to have something truly boyish about them, much more so than the original 1920s version. The sleek geometric lines helped too, drawing the eye to and from all the right places. Breasts however, are not a big part of this particular party.
The daywear seemed to have been inspired by those unaccountably cheery bellhops you see in Fred and Ginger films. Pleated, gold buttoned trousers, some of them slashed up the sides to reveal bare legs, and worn with bugle beaded boleros and high necked blouses. Plenty here, once it's taken apart, to keep Gucci's stock high even in this market.
Cosmetic surgeons specialising in boob jobs may want to think about a change in direction however.