Frida Giannini’s latest collection for men was a trimly tailored, classically fabric-ed, soberly toned salute to tradition missing one critical component of the gentleman’s wardrobe: the neck-tie. Not one on the Gucci catwalk. Instead, Giannini paired her herringbone, hounds-tooth and flannels with mohair sweaters, or knit polos open at the neck. It was one of the most seductive expressions of the casual flourish with which Milanese designers have attempted to defuse their stampede to formality and tradition. And even when the neck was restrained (a bow tie at night remains an inviolable principle of nocturnal elegance), Giannini delivered the accompanying “tuxedo” in tweed.
It wasn’t just tie-less ease that set Giannini apart from her peers. Yes, there were dark shadows in her show, but there was also a thread of almost cartoonish colour running through the whole thing. Even more so in fuzzy mohair. The interplay of proper and playful made this collection one of the designer’s best menswear shows to date.