Ramp it up

It's a man's world at Gucci this season as the iconic brand launches a men only store in Milan ahead of the men's fashion week where it showcases its Spring/ Summer 2014 look.
Prachi Bhuchar        Print Edition: Aug 18, 2013

There are as many people outside the venue as inside, but that probably has something to do with actor James Franco's presence at the show. Light glints off shiny black squares on the floor, clashing with brittle flashbulbs that go off on cue every few seconds as photographers zero in on the next big fashion flash.

The carpet covering the ramp is rolled off to prepare for the big show - Gucci's Summer/ Spring 2014 collection, which is debuting at the Men's Fashion Week in Milan. All the fashion soothsayers have lined up to see what creative director Frida Giannini will give the world of nips and tucks this time, just a day after the House launched its first men's flagship store for Europe at Milan's hip Brera district.

The store features a dedicated area for the brand's prized Made to Measure programme: a personalised, sartorial offering for the modern day man. It is also the first to offer Giannini and designer Lapo Elkann's capsule collection.

As the sound of champagne glasses clinking fades into the dusk, the House works itself up into a frenzy in anticipation of the all-important show the following day. And even as it gets underway at the appointed hour, the collection turns out to be a sweet reminder of Gucci's sartorial strength and the man it chooses to design for. A look at our top picks from Gucci's new collection.

Floral Fantasy
A number of top fashion brands seem to have embraced flower power for Spring/ Summer 2014 and Gucci tops the list. In keeping with its floral fixation over decades, the men's collection evokes nostalgia and romance and calls for some summer loving! While many of the prints are originals culled from Gucci's archives, they have been given a fresh spin by creative director Frida Gianinni, who reinterprets the almost feminine motif in this collection. From blazers and T-shirts to jumpsuits and regular jackets, a hint of flower power dominated the runway at their show.

Trim in Leather
Straying from its regular classic cuts and formal looks, Gucci experimented with a sport-goessexy look as part of its summer/spring 2012 collection. This fourpocket white-hooded anorak with cuffs that had lapels across them was created from an almost space-age kind of fabric: neoprene. The muted shades served as a direct foil to the bright florals that formed a key part of the collection, and the cut was boxy rather than sleek. The anorak was paired with a pair of colour blocked leggings med with a classic pair of lace up shows with rubber soles. Leather accents featured in a big way across the collection.

Accessorise This
The Gucci man has always epitomised sensuality, romance and finesse. However, this collection went a step further in creating a well-rounded Gucci man who enjoys the outdoors in style. Moving away from the greys, beiges and florals, there were bursts of sunshine on the ramp as Gianinni gave us a canary yellow windbreaker. The emphasis, though, was on the accessories that completed the ensemble, like a sporty timepiece, black laced-up shoes and the ubiquitous leather bag. The classic weekend bag was amped up to become an oversized backpack that could also be carried as a tote or a regular man bag.

Suit Yourself
The men's summer/spring 2014 collection also saw a strong emphasis on getting the silhouette right. Gucci resorted to what it calls techno-tailoring. If you look at the conventional three-piece suit that the brand is known for, this time round it is given a facelift by using novel materials. Think, suit made of techno-stretch jersey and nylon cotton but cut with the same sartorial finesse that the brand has always taken pride in. On the runway, the well-tailored shirt under the suit jacket that is beautiful yet basic was replaced by the t-shirt, giving the suit a funk upgrade. Wear it with a demure shirt during the day or replace it with a stretch cotton or printed silk tee for a wicked night out. Formal wear was deconstructed to suit the new age man and while colour tones stayed largely in the ice white, beige, caramel zone, these were interspersed with a burst of whimsy when it came to florals, polka dots and printed silks.

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