Diana Ross' disco hit "Upside Down" is a lot to take at 11:30 on a Sunday morning. You could sense it sapping the audience's goodwill toward Alessandro Dell'Acqua and his second outing for Brioni well before the third chorus came round. Backstage, the designer said he took Ross and Florinda Bolkan as muses, the chanteuse providing the glam and the Brazilian actress the sophistication. Good thing the clothes weren't as literal as the music.
Dell'Acqua has been tasked with broadening Brioni's customer base, enticing the kind of client who pays attention to the trends but isn't beholden to them. For Fall, he's giving her color: bright fuchsia pants in the tapering, cropped cut of the season, worn under a camel coat belted with a thin gold chain; or a royal purple satin dress bustled in the back and topped by a black cardigan. He's giving her fur and exotic skins; together, the cropped fox jacket and toffee-colored matte crocodile skirt were the definition of Brioni luxe. In between, there were more understated offerings. Both a long-sleeved, fitted black dress with a peephole in the back and a camel cashmere tunic with matching cuffed trousers had subtle appeal. But luxury is about the complete package. Next season's mission will be upgrading the little details like the soundtrack, the venue, etc. that are so vital to the overall message.