guccibluephythontrio.jpgGucci’s Tom Ford is working to cure minimalism of its anemia. Ice-queen colors, untamed prints and sexy accessories enliven the simple lines of his spring/summer 2000 collection, slyly pitting austerity against the outrageous.

Ford remakes the classic “little black dress” with literal edginess, slashing off the right sleeve and putting a deep, diagonal V in the back. His models wear lipstick-pink pantyhose, a deviously girlish twist.

The collection is glitzy, but with street-level appeal. Snakeskin prints, shimmering fabrics and leather dominate.

“If you buy a special leather jacket and a great pair of shoes,” says Ford, “you put those on with whatever you’ve been wearing and that becomes your evening outfit.”

Ford is still putting his models in high heels, but not the skyscraper stilettos of past collections.

“The shoes are high, but the heel is thicker this season,” he says. “It’s a little easier to walk in because of the thickness of the heel, and when your pants spill down over, that makes you look long … and to me, that is perfect.”

Despite the sophisticated, body-conscious lines, many of the colors are soft. Ford describes them as “sugary.”

“Pale pink, pale icy blue, pale lavender,” he says. “And a lot of black, actually. I wanted to be quite sharp and graphic.”