The show was moved this season from Luisa Beccaria's Brera district shop, with its sparkly pastel walls, to Milan's soulless Fieraand what was gained in convenience was lost in intimacy. It's not a negligible point for a designer who built her success as much on the charm of her personal story and the gorgeous looks of her young brood as on her pretty party frocks. Location aside, this was typical Luisa Beccaria: frothy, sweeter than a candy shop, and without so much as one rough edge. Citing points of reference as divergent as Whistler and the seventies photographer Sarah Moon, she worked mostly in an opalescent palette of soft pinks, pale blues, and silvery whites, with shots of Fall's popular iridescent purples and greens. Daytime offerings included a Shetland wool shift with lacelike embroidery on the patch pockets, a crocheted dress with delicate needlework at the yoke, and a frilly bow-front blouse worn with an A-line skirt. For eveningwhere her heart isBeccaria ranged from a pouf-skirted dance dress with a sweetheart neckline to ruffled tulle trapezes that overpowered her models' narrow frames.
Among the more interesting pieces were a peacock-feather-print day dress worn with a wide, striped suede belt and a floor-length net dress with a plunging V-neck and cap sleeves in allover ribbon embroidery. Subtle and sophisticated, they saved the collection from becoming too precious and doll-like.