Mathilde Castello Branco lasted just about a year at the helm of Azzaro. The founder of the French brand, Loris Azzaro, left a legacy of red-carpet razzle-dazzle. The job of the creative director who takes Castello Branco's place will be to expand the label's repertoire beyond cocktail and high evening. A fashion company can't exist without being multi-channeled these days.

The design studio that's been put in charge in the meantime checked off all the boxes: outerwear, tailleurs, fitted day dresses, a jumpsuit, and even handbags, the weakest part of the new lot. Edgier-than-usual chain embroideries made an impact on little black dresses, Swarovski crystals having long been the house's embellishment of choice. A ruby red long-sleeved gown with a diagonal slice of a cutout on the torso was as good as Azzaro gets, now or then. Still, there's a nagging feeling that none of it matters until the brand finds a designer it can live with.