Some things sound good in the idea stage but then get lost in material-world translation. But what could possibly have sounded promising in repeated endless incarnations of tricked-out black mesh, exposed breasts, supersize swirls and lowbrow shine?
Coming off two of the best collections of her Gucci tenure, Frida Giannini took a backward step here. The primary theme seems to have been the imposition of a techno-athletic vibe onto languid clothes for both day and night. The motif justified all that mesh, providing portal to uninteresting displays of skin. The peekaboo came via T-shirt-and-bra combos including one worn over what looked like below-the-knee basketball shorts; insets defining the shoulders and sides of a slouchy magenta dress, and a T-shirt dress worn over a printed purple halter.
The languid shapes were not well-served by their inelegant decorations, demonstrative goings-on inspired by the Orientalist work of the great illustrator Erté and by Art Nouveau: a black jumpsuit with a giant leaf motif up the sides; large, ergonomically plotted evening embroideries. Rendered with just a hint of discretion, the concept might have worked. But even if one bought into the scope, scale and color of the patterns, and despite their stated artisanal elements — perforations, laminations, embroideries — the fabrics just didn’t look expensive. Lurex has a range that starts well south of luxe, and Giannini jumped in around the midcontemporary point, in look if not price point.
Conversely, the bags were terrific, including those in vibrant skins that flaunted long swaths of fringe. They reminded that Giannini hails from an accessories background, which may be where her true passion for fashion lies.