As fashion develops, luxury brands are increasingly straddling the line between heritage and innovation. This isn’t anything new – some labels are fast approaching their centenary. With that expertise comes the weight of experience, precedent and expectation. Brands are challenging themselves internally, looking towards – and being inspired by – past collections, and using their understanding of tradition and transformation. Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is just such a creator – an imaginative mind that embraces an eclectic philosophy and understands how to weave playful disruption seamlessly with the house’s values and history. The Gucci autumn/winter 2020-21 fashion show in Milan, for instance, debuted a partnership between Gucci and the fabled English fabric designer and retailer, Liberty. Louis Vuitton makes a statement at Paris Fashion Week After diving into the archives at Liberty, the collaboration saw Michele striving to blend influences, past and present, into a playful, retro collection with little-used designs from Liberty’s history. The collection is modern, delicate and innocent, but with a hint of history anchored by the mostly floral-based pieces that include accessories, such as a padded blouson or headband. The little details all tie back into each other: while the floral motif connects to the children’s clothes theme in the collection, the Gucci Liberty Art Nouveau script recalls the grunge theme that is also prevalent. The collection is extensive and varied, with many of the womenswear items featuring floral-print dresses, including a guru-neck and a fluid viscose crêpe midi dress characterised by a scoop neck. However, there are also spaghetti-strap tops, patchwork shirts with self-fabric bows, pleated skirts and a midi-style tiered in a patchwork composed of three different Liberty prints combined with the Gucci Flora print. STYLE Edit: Gucci’s tongue-in-cheek Fake/Not collection Gucci Liberty combines the distinctive floral prints with dynamic texture and fabric, such as the suit ensemble option with a single-breasted jacket (in floral print by Liberty), with matching high-waisted trousers crafted in mohair wool. For men, the Liberty prints are used for a selection of garments including double-breasted jackets, long and short trousers, an outerwear blouson, and short- and long-sleeved shirts of differing lengths. STYLE Edit: how Gucci remade the classic Jackie bag for 2020 In accessories, two key styles of Gucci 1955 Horsebit handbags have been developed with the Gucci Liberty theme: the shoulder and small top-handle bags in leather, printed with an all-over floral motif, and available as an online exclusive, paired with a practical card case. One of the stand-outs of the season is the gorgeous shoe swathed in the iconic Liberty fabric for its pop of colour and design. The Rhyton trainer is awash in a pale, feminine Liberty print, and the ever-popular ballerina style also now comes in two floral Liberty prints, with a third floral print for the ballerina style available as an online exclusive. The Gucci Tennis 1977 V low-top and high-top trainers – available for women and men – are given a fresh look through the use of Liberty prints too. Trending this month: STYLE’s low-down on high jewellery and watches In line with the genderless features that have gained traction recently, the Liberty prints are full of classic details with iconography that recalls a restyled version of the traditional boat shoe but with a Gucci twist. Not ready to stop there, the collection continues with floral Liberty prints used for carrés and seasonal ribbons in silk twill, silk crêpe and wool, and for ties and pocket squares in cotton, silk crêpe or wool. There’s something for everyone, with Liberty patterns available in stoles and scarfs; cotton canvas baseball caps and bucket hats; thin cotton hairbands and a sumptuous silk, wool and viscose headband; even a range of tin pins. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .