By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
MILAN (Reuters) - With lush greenery for a backdrop, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana took fashionistas on a jungle trek at its catwalk show on Sunday, presenting a spring wardrobe inspired by colourful tropical fauna and flora.
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana kicked off their Spring/Summer 2020 womenswear line with safari looks - beige and khaki belted shirts, cargo trousers, dresses and shorts, sometimes worn with leopard print bikini or corset tops.
To a thumping musical beat, models then strutted in fitted over-the-knee dresses and skirts adorned with a giraffe, zebra or parrot on the leopard-print catwalk.
There was an array of fitted black dresses - the brand's staple that peppered the more than 120-looks runway show. They came short, corseted, slit at the front, see-through and lace. Models also wore black bra tops and skirt suits.
The designers put zebra, giraffe, leopard and tiger prints on short or long dresses, pencil skirts, bustier tops, jackets, coats and tights while colourful parrots and pelicans adorned silky shirts and skirts.
Snakeskin prints appeared on bright short skirts.
Models sashayed in long chiffon gowns filled with mixed animal, jungle and floral prints as well as in shorter frocks.
Adding more colour were outfits adorned in fruit prints - pineapples on bikini tops and dresses, and watermelon or mixed fruits summer shirts.
These were sometimes mixed with polka dots in bright hues.
Tropical flowers and leaves decorated dresses, skirts tied at the waist like sarongs and hotpants. There were also leaf-print trouser suits and coats - a jungle theme seen elsewhere during Milan Fashion Week.
In softer tones, the designers presented cream and gold skirts, bustier tops and dresses in macramé and raffia. A selection of trouser suits were shiny and mid-calf length.
Models wore tropical flowers or knotted scarves in their hair while footwear came in all types, sometimes with animal prints. Some sandals had leaf straps. Sunglasses were doubled - one pair quirkily sitting on top of another.
Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele explored the idea of "subjectification" for his collection, using bright lights and moving walkways in his runway presentation.
Michele kicked off with male and female models in plain white uniforms with buckles and straps, some reminiscent of straitjackets, standing still along the moving walkways, representing "how through fashion, power is exercised over life, to eliminate self-expression".
The lights then went out and back on again, this time with models strutting in brightly coloured looks.
Michele nodded to 1970s-style suits with jackets and waistcoats worn with cropped or flared trousers and unveiled an array of coats and blazers and lace dresses slit to the thigh.
There were clashing prints, long dresses with flower-shaped cuts and slit skirts worn with tight low-cut tops.
There were also sparkling or sheer see-through dresses. Accessories included large sunglasses with huge dangling chains and shiny gloves. Some models carried whips.
"(Michele) has designed a collection that conveys fashion as a way to allow people to walk through fields of possibilities, cultivate beauty, make diversity sacrosanct and celebrate the self in expression and identity," Gucci said.
Part of the Kering luxury group, Gucci has enjoyed a successful makeover under Michele. In July, it posted a slower-than-expected rise in second-quarter sales, hit by a blip in the United States.
As fashion houses seek to improve their green credentials, Gucci announced this month it was "offsetting all remaining greenhouse gas emissions annually from its operations and the entire supply chain" through projects supporting forest conservation, in a bid to become carbon neutral.
(Editing by Deepa Babington and Lisa Shumaker)