It’s like, old-school, isn’t it?”exclaimed a tousled-haired Kate Moss as she was being hustled backstage to meet Frida Giannini. “Right up my strasse!” she added as she planted a kiss on the designer’s cheek. True enough, Moss is a one for sixties and seventies vintage—the odd Ossie Clark dress and furry gilet and retro-denim skirt have long been part of her repertoire. Giannini’s spring collection went into that era, rinsed it clean of eau-de-Glastonbury, and polished it up, Italian style. She described it as “an evolution from fall”—a sensible decision, because that’s when she introduced sixties A-line silhouettes, which have obviously done well for the brand. Continuity and clarity are underrated virtues in a time of so much confusing, forgettable change. There’s a comfort in knowing what a label’s for, and Giannini is not afraid of keeping her messages simple, direct, and commercial.
It helps that the thing called normcore has settled into fashion’s vocabulary. Gucci’s pristine A-line culotte suits, suede dresses, and stiff denim dresses and coats (including a particularly nice one in burgundy denim) came tailored, with tab details and domed gilt buttons fit that mood. The impression read as smart seventies mom in the era of Jackie O, a relation of the French-bourgeois look Nicolas Ghesquière is developing at Louis Vuitton. Giannini claimed she hadn’t looked in the Gucci archive for inspiration (which certainly contains plenty of pictures of Britt Ekland and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wearing these sorts of things), but was more motivated by wanting to offer “more pieces to play with, that you can make your own.”
Again: sound move. There are jeans to buy and jackets to cherry-pick—like the vaguely Sgt. Pepper military one, embroidered with gold frogging—and the tufty, multi-fur patchwork vest with a sprinkling of crystal and studs would fit happily into a perma-wardrobe. It’s getting harder to find that kind of thing on Portobello Market these days, so let’s not be surprised to see Ms. Moss popping up in them before too long.