MILAN, Italy (CNN) — Gucci designer Tom Ford’s directive for spring was: Think re-mix, not retro. Ford is one of Milan’s fastest rising stars. This season, he gives a 90s update to outfits inspired by the early 70s.

Ford says natural fabrics make for a softer, more sensual approach, but he gives them a crisp edge by using bold patterns. The collection emphasizes “real” fabrics such as cashmere, silk and cotton, and less of the “techno-fabrics,” such as nylon. Suede is one fabric used to accentuate the softer silhouette.

“It looks softer and, again, it goes back to the idea of softening the silhouette and making everything much more relaxed, which is really the message this season,” Ford says.

The basic components also have changed.

“Jackets are almost nonexistent,” Ford says. “It’s really the shirt this season in matching fabrics that match pants and match skirts.”

Skirt lengths are changing again and Ford features two variations: the “short-short” and “long-long.” He says long-long is probably the newest of the two. (539K QuickTime movie)

Gucci’s spring line has two prevalent color schemes: a mix of black, almost iridescent colors, and bold patterns in brighter colors. Prints are strong this season, including patchwork prints and prints worn in combination.

“We’ve done things where you’re wearing one print blouse and a different print pant and a different pattern on your handbag,” Ford said. And to pull it all together, jewelry is simple and flowing.

“We’ve shown a simple silver cord around the neck, that hangs down long, ” Ford said. “There’s a lot of movement in the collection. The great thing about this cord is that you can wear it as a belt or as a necklace, but it moves when you walk, and the clothes move when you walk, which is a big change from last season.”