2011 is Gucci's 90th anniversary, and Frida Giannini's men's show for Fall was the start of the celebration. There had already been intimations of Giannini's approach to the birthday year in her pre-fall collection for women, where she locked into a killer-chic, early seventies vibe with just a hint of rock-star sauvage, and here it was again today. The cornerstone of the collection was a lean two-button suit, its trouser flaring slightly over the shoe. With Faces-era Rod Stewart croaking over the sound system, the connection with a vintage Gucci moment was inescapable.

But Giannini has found her strength in that connection. Streamlined luxe for the Ur-jet set was Gucci's original calling card, and the designer laid on a master class in subtle opulence, from the opening trench in ostrich through the double-breasted croc blazer to an astrakhan sweater for evening. Funny thing though—as excessive as that menagerie may sound, it played as quite easy, even restrained, due to the muted colors and casual attitude. Time has taught Giannini how to bring a light touch to the legacy, how to integrate her own experience (the snappy dressers of her girlhood rock dreams) with the demands of a long-established house like Gucci. And when one model strode down the catwalk in a shaggy swath of Mongolian lamb, the two worlds collided beautifully.