MILAN (Reuters) - Snakes, birds and flowers took center stage among a kaleidoscope of motifs at Gucci's womenswear show, with designer Alessandro Michele transforming clothes into "psycho-geographic maps" for the Italian fashion house's spring/summer 2016 line.
Models strutted down a catwalk, itself printed with flower and snake designs, in chiffon and printed silk tops and dresses, some of them bearing trompe l'oeil ruffles and large bows.
Ancient Egyptian imagery was also printed on some of the collection, which mostly featured colorful flowers and animal designs -- birds, fish and snakes on trouser legs.
There was also a nod to the 1970s with bowl haircuts, gold gloves worn under large rings and angular leather handbags.
Michele, Gucci's former head accessories designer who became creative director in January, also regularly referred to the "Carte de Tendre", a map based on the theme of love, in his creations, shown on Wednesday as part of Milan Fashion Week.
The map, published in 1654 in the first part of Madeleine de Scudery's novel "Clelie", featured on a skirt and dress.
"These hints gather on the collection's clothes to form eclectic palimpsests rich with heterogeneous references," the designer's notes read.
"The clothes are transformed into psycho-geographic maps capable of recording the urban unconscious: maps that embroider the world within a discourse of affectionate intimacy."
Michele elevated Gucci's classic loafer into a heel, accessorized trousers suits with ties that featured bold drawings such as a smiling mouth and a ladybird.
Models wore large spectacles, some of them glittery, beret hats, heeled sandals with leaf cutouts and held an array of handbags. Michele kept the classic Gucci stripe on accessories, such as a belt on a green lace dress.
Milan, home to fashion heavyweights Giorgio Armani, Versace and Dolce and Gabbana, hosts some 70 catwalk shows until Monday.
Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian