Like a classic rock band whose fans only want to hear the hits, Pucci will forever be expected to produce variations on its swirling, colorful prints. Not that that's a bad thing; few fashion statements command such instant recognition. But making a serious sportswear collection from a breezy, humorous pattern is a tough project.

In his third season at Pucci, designer Julio Espada achieved mixed results. Inspired by the smart, minimal fashions of '60s London, he kept silhouettes mostly simple and close to the body, using jersey fabrics and minimal embellishment. There were nifty dresses and poet-sleeve tops that would jazz up Fall's predominantly black palette, as well as a few sharp jackets and a new Pop-influenced print. But the generally serious mood, and some odd color combinations like yellow and burgundy or aquamarine and orange, seemed at odds with Pucci's sunny, Mediterranean personality.