Mathilde Castello Branco is the newly installed creative director at Azzaro. She hails from Lanvin and has a bit of Alber Elbaz's gift for waxing lyrical about her creations. A Swarovksi crystal button at the back of the neck is "like a touch of perfume," and the organza sleeves of a dress are "like clouds."
So far, the clothes hold up to her résumé. There was a smart fur coat with puffed sleeves that unzipped at the shoulders so you can trade them for simpler ribbed knit ones. Clever in a different way was a short-sleeve sweater with a demure trompe l'oeil collar that turned to reveal a scooped-out bare back.
But Azzaro's raison d'être is dresses, and what was promising about today's presentation was the diversity of Castello Branco's offering, from long fourreau dresses with subtle, unexpected asymmetries to shorter cocktail numbers in jersey. The latter had knit waists that functioned like corsets but, the designer promised, were a hell of a lot more comfortable.