MILAN (AFP) - Gucci's new creative director Alessandro Michele wowed Milan Wednesday with his first womenswear show, a veritable feast of flouncy, nipple-flashing outfits, beanies and bee-themed accessories.
It was the most hotly-awaited show of the season, with Michele unveiling the Italian luxury brand's new look after creative giant Frida Giannini departed in January - reportedly unwillingly - along with her partner and company chief executive Patrizio di Marco.
Just a day after the New York Times published di Marco's leaving letter in which he stated "against my will, I leave my cathedral uncompleted," Michele was keen to distance himself from the gossip mill, calling for time to show off his talent.
"There is no room for consolatory nostalgia," the press release accompanying his new show read, adding that the designs embody "that elusive threshold between the 'no longer' and the 'not yet'".
It also referenced the "background" to the collection: "a place of unexpected events, rifts, remnants and amnesias."
The androgynous style which marked his Fall 2015 menswear collection - which was put together in just five days in January when he took over - was revisited, with female and male models sporting fur-cuffed box coats and long, loose bow ties.
It was romantic in parts, with a re-look at the brand's iconic floral pattern, and floaty rose or pale blue skirts, shirts and dresses, matched with fur slippers and bags with bees on them.
Beanies, Michele has obviously decided, are now for the super chic - as are school-girl horn-rimmed glasses, frills, flounces and the sort of see-through tops of which your mum would disapprove.
With Giannini reportedly ousted after a long decline in the brand's sales - which fell 1.8 per cent in 2014 to €3.5 billion (S$5.3 billion) - all eyes will now be on whether the more outlandish of Gucci's new pieces will win over the high street.