Frida Giannini has hung up a new sign at Gucci for spring 2014: “Gone trekking.” Or sailing. Or riding. Or whatever it is a man does wearing an olive botanical-print jumpsuit, a color-blocked anorak or a leather hoodie.
The designer plied the Florentine house’s luxury credentials into activewear, blending in 18th-century floral prints to “warm up the technical side of sport,” she said backstage, wearing a leather T-shirt much like the Neoprene-lined one she sent down the men’s runway. “You always want to wear something luxurious in your free time,” she reasoned.
Indeed, this was adventure wear for the sophisticated sportsman who totes his lunch in an oversize leather backpack dangling a silver padlock; matches his safety-yellow storm coat to his Bermuda shorts, and slides his sockless feet into leather sneakers. Giannini employed all kinds of high-tech fabrics and treatments: Even trim three-piece suits came in spongy stretch jersey and nylon and cotton blends.
While only the brave would wander into the wilds — or a cocktail party — in head-to-toe chinoiserie patterns, there were plenty of more rugged options, including beefy, loose-weave sweaters; riding pants crossbred with motorcycle details, and sleek leather coats sparked with waterproof taping in bright colors.
The collection was young and spirited, showing a different facet of the Gucci man, with not a loafer in sight.