An Exclusive First Look at a New Gucci Mini-Collection

HAILED AS THE “Pied Piper of Change,” Alessandro Michele took the reins as Gucci’s creative director more than a year ago and promptly produced eccentrically ornate collections that reinvigorated the Italian brand’s somewhat stale sexiness with romance and femininity. For spring, Mr. Michele, 43, showed clothing that was richly embroidered, rendered in metallic leather or densely patterned with roses and bees—the sort of looks some find challenging to wear. “Not every woman is built like a No. 2 pencil,” said Denver-based author Leslie Carroll, who believes that such riotous hues and prints only look good on someone tall and skinny, “like singer Grace Jones.” Others don’t reject the Gucci aesthetic outright: “There are outfits I’d wear, toned down,” said Atlanta psychologistMegan Missett.

Enter online retailer Net-a-Porter, which is launching an exclusive 20-piece Gucci mini-collection by Mr. Michele on May 12th—clothing, shoes and accessories that have been tamed and translated for those who don’t relate to fashion’s new maximalist mood. The clothes are an answer for women like Ms. Missett who seek a quieter version of Mr. Michele’s silhouettes. Pieces such as embroidered jeans and a heart-motif skirt resemble pieces in the Gucci collection, but the detailing is more modest: A dress may sport a few appliquéd flowers at the neckline, for example, instead of a bloom-strewn bodice. The site shows ways to style a look, demonstrating how to easily integrate, say, a Neoprene sweatshirt with your unflamboyant pencil skirt. Prices range from $270 for a phone case to $5,300 for an organza gown.

Mr. Michele also did an exclusive rose motif, sans insects, inspired by a 19th-century tapestry. “I like to create dialogues,” the designer said. By understanding “the different language” of the person who shops at Net-a-Porter, he was able to “magnify his own aesthetic and point of view.” Even without the bees, the looks are actually just as buzzy.

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