The international idea exchange never stopped, really, and a fine example of the trade in ideas was Frida Giannini’s fall 2013 show this afternoon for Gucci. The show overtly referenced Englishness in its silhouettes, disciplined proportions and woven fabrics — wired-up versions of windowpane and Prince of Wales checks and goosed-up tweeds that brought to mind Bertie Wooster on acid.
It was a fine show and the latest in a string of recent successes for Ms. Giannini. As had those Neapolitan tailors, she managed somehow to take English styles like a Duke jacket, a mackintosh and the convoy or duffel coat made famous by Field Marshal Montgomery and to relax and Italianize them. Upper-class Italian gents of today don’t dress that way, of course, as made plain in books about them produced by Diego Della Valle, president of the Italian leather goods powerhouse Tod’s. They dress like proper Tories.
Riffing on British formality, on cavalry cuts and country house tweeds, Ms. Giannini came up with her own subtle and wry rendition. Even the colors had the interpretive brio of those tailors from a century ago. Imagine a double-breasted greatcoat in robin’s egg blue, and you’ll get the picture.