With a Mediterranean garden party as a theme, this was another of Luisa Beccaria's typical pretty party-dress collections. There were many options from which to choosefrom the understated (black eyelet and pastel chiffons) to the witty (a fruit-basket print for sundresses, oversize gingham for a fitted sheath) to the overly literal (a few numbers interwoven with natural raffia). For evening, a romantic rose-photo-print mermaid gown with shirring at the bodice stood out among solid hues like periwinkle, emerald green, and lemon yellow.
The designer is intimately familiar with this terrain. (Her family home in Sicily has no doubt hosted a garden party or two.) She may be too familiar, in fact, as her collections are in danger of becoming formulaic. When she veered from the predictableas she did with a couture-grade orange silk short-sleeve cocoon coat that topped an accordion-pleated dress, an apricot chiffon scarf tied around the model's neck for extra chic valuepens started scribbling in the front row. Next time, she'd be smart to pack her collection with more such surprises.