For Spring, Frida Giannini went all in with color: azalea pink, fuchsia, and a Riviera blue that conjured sun-soaked images of the Italian jet set circa the seventies. Clearly, the Gucci designer prefers the dark side, because she's back in black for Fall, name-checking Allen Jones, the British Pop artist with the kinky streak, and juxtaposing, as her program notes put it, "a demure, couture-inspired silhouette with a subversive undertone." She may be a couple weeks shy of giving birth to her first baby, but she isn't oblivious to the power of sex, that's for sure.

Because, in the end, this collection will never quite qualify as demure. How could it, with all the shiny black python she used for little numbers like a fitted skirtsuit with a slit up to there in back or a second-skin dress? Body-con and sexy, the python pieces were hands down the strongest thing about the show. The forties by way of the seventies is a look that's gaining traction this season, and the cabans, the peplum jackets, and the hourglass dresses with exaggerated hips here put Gucci in the middle of that dialogue. But some of Giannini's tailleurs in bulky astrakhan or pony hair seemed stiff, and too much of the past. It was a feeling that the fetish-y accessories—fishnets, gloves, patent oxford booties—didn't quite dispel, although the black leather and snakeskin turtlenecks she layered underneath many of the pieces added a modernizing element. Long-sleeve silk sheaths, some with bib insets of delicate black lace mesh, were in her sweet spot. The softer, suppler fabrics made a difference. At the other end of the spectrum, a boxy powder blue men's coat with a deep lapel and a fur collar had its fans.

The stretch lace mesh carried over to her evening looks—silk cocktail dresses, gowns, and jumpsuits with peekaboo bodices exuberantly embroidered in winglike patterns with sequins, paillettes, feathers, and silk fringe. Kasia Struss' knee-length cocktail number, in particular, looked like a decadent night out. Once baby comes, Giannini can do some vicarious partying when she sees them on the red carpet circuit.