Frida Giannini said she had nineteenth-century decadents on her mind when she was designing Fall. The mood, not unlike at her men's show last month, was dark—with rich tapestry jacquards, plush velvets, a hothouse floral printed on a ground of black, and a palette that revolved around plum, bottle green, espresso, and jet. Romantic was the word she used backstage, "but not cute-romantic; it has a confidence," she said. Nocturnal is another good word for the collection, which delivered more capital F fashion than we're used to here, while also feeling more personal than previous Giannini outings—pour us a glass of absinthe.

To begin with, the confidence came through in the emphasis on menswear, much of it oversized. Giannini opened with a military jacket paired with a slim, long velvet skirt, and there was a great-looking cropped leather peacoat with an away-from-the-body swagger. Capes figured prominently, too, complemented by full-leg pants with a real slouch that felt new for Gucci. They were stuffed into crocodile riding boots—Arthur Rimbaud never had it so good.

As for the romance, it had an edge that went beyond the Scarface soundtrack playing in the background. Blouses were provocatively sheer, with Pre-Raphaelite sleeves and artfully placed scrolls of silk or velvet on the bodice. Dresses, for the most part, cleaved the lines of the body, but when they didn't, as with the pair in vibrant leopard jacquard, they dipped to the midriff, with slits inching up the thigh. One dress, covered neckline-to-hem in oil-slick coq feathers, looked almost wicked.

The show crescendoed with a series of dramatic peekaboo gowns in jewel-embellished tulle that seemed to reveal more than they actually did. Siren gowns all, they were the literal crystallization of Giannini's dark glamour theme.