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Gucci overhauls menswear show after Frida Giannini's exit

The in-house design team had ten days to totally redesign the former creative director's collection. Did it pay off?

Talk about a fast turnaround. Gucci presented its AW15 menswear collection at Milan Fashion Week today under circumstances that would send less resilient brands running for the hills. Exactly ten days ago, creative director Frida Giannini left the label, over a month earlier than expected. But rather than show what Giannini had been working on before her sudden exit, Gucci took the radical decision to overhaul every single part of Giannini's final menswear collection. 

Everything from the models to the set, shoes and seating had been completely redesigned. The in-house team at Gucci had ten days to produce the new collection and worked round the clock, making it a true group effort – little wonder a dozen people had to crowd onto the runway for the finale. But it was head accessories designer Alessandro Michele who took the final bow, which lends some serious weight to the rumour that Gucci will select him as Giannini's successor. 

The show notes pointed to a "dreamy ambiguity" that distinguished the collection from Giannini's work. There were sheer silk chiffon bow blouses, mink-lined men's slippers and bookish spectacles. Think androgyny for the Left Bank set; a far cry from Giannini's jet-set Italian suits.

"An attitude not a silhouette; an experience not an era – the new collection is a point of departure that blurs the masculine/feminine divide and champions the youthful energy and natural confidence of today's urbanites," the notes explained. 

According to WWD, Giannini's departure was sped up to "facilitate decision-making about the brand's future creative direction". It'll probably still be a while until Gucci selects a designer to take over, but here is one intriguing detail from today's show. The runway soundtrack of choice was the score from A Single Man, Tom Ford's 2009 film with Colin Firth. Now there's something to chew over. 

Watch a livestream of the show below: