The idea of discovering a young designer in Milan brought out the crowds to Riccardo Tisci's presentation, even though it meant herding into a desolate, derelict factory late at night. There, they were met with the full conceptual works: a set clouded with church incense that included a full-size wooden cross, a blonde virgin, and what looked like a funeral pyre piled with dead leaves. Then, through the smoke emerged Mariacarla Boscono solemnly dressed in a floor-sweeping black cardinal coat, followed by many more of Tisci's model friends, acting out a funereal fashion rite in the half-light.
What was discernible in the gloom were long-skirted silhouettes, topped with voluminous jackets, or more-sculpted raw-edged deconstructed leathers and furs with tight pencil skirts. Amid the spooky posturing and occasional sacrilegious pouting against the crucifix, some sinuous black dresses and beaded shearlings had impact. Though the proceedings, and many of the clothes, owed a lot to the influence of Martin Margiela and others of the somber school of Belgian design, Tisci is clearly a name worth watching.