He's as agreeable an individual as you could hope to meet, but Giles Deacon is twisted. Or at least the pictures he draws are, and so are a lot of the clothes he designs. Take, for instance, a gray evening gown, elegantly cross-draped and gathered at the waist, that spun to reveal a fleshy foundation-garment backing and a thick half-belt of paper clips. It was one of the 15 pieces Deacon showed in his pre-fall presentation at Pitti (from a total of 90 in the actual collection), and the same perverse flair was apparent in everything from the choice of location to the models' lurid nylon wigs.

Turning his back on the fabulous palazzi of Florence, Deacon opted for the factory where the famous Richard Ginori porcelain is produced. The clanking of the production line melded nicely with Steve Mackey's booming metal music, the huge prints of tools, and the spectacular Stephen Jones constructions that decorated the models' heads. But ultimately, it was (wo)man, not machine, that Deacon emphasized with the fetishistic edge that is almost his signature: the hook-and-eye closings on a second-skin leather coat-dress, the shoulder straps that could've been lifted from bras, the va-voom definition of the body in a contoured sponge crepe coat-dress, with vertiginous Louboutin stilettos compounding the whole effect. Deacon loves a dangerous curve on a bad girl, and if there's something risky about the result, there's also a toughness and wit to give the clothes a kick. Together they made the Spring 2010 collection he showed in Paris last October his best yet. And these new looks suggest he's not done with risk-taking.