Putting poppies and spacecrafts in the same collection would not be anyone's idea of obvious. As the two main motifs in Alexis Martial's second outing for Iceberg, they represented diametrically opposite ways to explore seventies tropes: one, feminine and free-spirited; the other, retro modern. The real story, however, took shape in Martial's unconventional way of recombining classics. His skirts, for instance, were an asymmetric merger of handkerchief and accordion pleat. His turtleneck knits were capped with a quilted yoke. Trimmed in fox fur or offered in nylon, his extra-long zip hoodies assumed new responsibility as outerwear.

Despite his best intentions, the designer didn't always make a splash. His near-obsessive use of neoprene felt fresh when double-faced with knit; formed into a blazer, the material remained more constricting than a space suit. Multicolored python belts, glossy patent plackets, and Rainbow Brite shearling collars made clear that Martial can think like a stylist. But the spaceship appliqués took a wrong turn along the way from young boy's universe into high-fashion space. He need not try so hard to convince us that he can navigate contemporary Italian terra firma. The simply striped ski sweaters and salt-and-pepper tweeds seemed to make this point cleanly and without compromise.