If Frida Giannini's Spring show saw her embracing the hard-edged glamour of the late seventies, pre-fall took her back to the start of that decade. Once upon a time, Giannini designed a women's collection for Gucci that was inspired by Ziggy Stardust. Here it was possible to detect intimations of David Bowie just before his glittery watershed: the Hunky Dory voluminous pants with the deep box pleat, for instance, and the Space Oddity Mongolian lamb that fizzed around collars and cuffs. Those flared pants and a pair of gray flannel culottes aside, the silhouette was seventies-lean, elongated even more by ribbed ponchos that zipped snugly round the torso (the best had a dramatic fringe).
The collection echoed London at the dawn of that decade. Short skirts and turtlenecks were topped by long, military-influenced coats and paired with above-the-knee boots with chunky heels and square toes, the whole energetic ensemble a vision of casual dolly-bird-on-the-go chic. Other early-seventies details included the chemisiers, especially one in a tiger print; the muted accents of cherry, chartreuse, aqua, and rust (a distinct contrast to Spring's ka-pow colors); the big peaked lapels on skinny velvet pantsuits; the floppy hats and fur caps; and even the dash of corduroy. For evening, Giannini offered cocktail dresses in black crepe and gowns in black jersey, both anchored with studded metalwork that bordered on the sauvage. The shagginess of the lamb called to Everywoman's Inner Barbarian (especially when Giannini made it as easy as zipping on a pair of shaggy armlets or slipping into a shrug), and the designer amplified the appeal with double-faced silver fox, layered in panels on jackets cut from astrakhan knitted into a particularly lush bouclé. Weightless, luxuriant, they felt like bare essentials for a twenty-first-century wild child.