Soft, supple Gucci looks offer invitingly wearable ode to the 1970s

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MILAN — Soft and supple describes just about every piece in Gucci's womenswear wardrobe for next summer — which is no mean feat for a collection that combines military looks, denim and leather.

Gucci creative director Frida Giannini plays with the nautical and military themes that often punctuate her collections, infusing them with suppleness through the choice of materials — soft denims, suedes and laser-cut leather — and relaxed silhouettes.

The result: looks that project both strength and femininity.

Giannini's denim looks, a centerpiece of the collection previewed Wednesday on the first day of Milan Fashion Week, are an updated ode to the 1970s. The denim is relaxed and never binding, from the wide-legged cropped mariner jeans with big gold buttons, to the blousy denim dresses with lacy, eyelet panels.

That the looks are versatile is highlighted by the choice to send out the denim looks alternating with short, printed silk cocktail dresses, sometimes worn with wispy fur vests, or featuring military brocade detailing, or as a kimono cut.

It's a collection that is full of separates that can form the backbone of wardrobes for a long time to come: relaxed cropped jeans, suede coats and tunics, braided leather belts, a soft version of the Jackie bag and Gucci boots — to the ankle or knee. The palate is likewise easy to adopt: pearl white, denim, brown, burgundy and burnt orange.

Hair is pulled back in an easy ponytail fastened at the nape of the neck. Makeup is getting renewed emphasis with the launch Wednesday of Gucci's debut cosmetics line; models sported nude satin lipstick, well-defined cheekbones and gold eyeliner.

Sitting front-row and center was Kate Moss chatting with American Vogue editor Anna Wintour before the show, alongside Charlotte Casiraghi, the face of Gucci Cosmetics.

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