The artsy, retro wave that swept over many of Milan's collections this week—ethnic influences, girlish silhouettes and asymmetrical hemlines—seems to have crested with the Strenesse collection. Strenesse designer Gabriele Strehle has always injected a little downtown gallery-owner attitude into her commercially appealing sportswear; but this season it looks like she bought a loft in SoHo, c. 1985, and has Laurie Anderson coming over for dinner.

Strehle showed a mostly black collection heavy with Japanese references such as kimono sleeves, torso-wrapping obi belts, and the rosy-toned print that leavened the monochrome palette, showing up in loose blouses and fluid, knee-length dresses. While there were good-looking pieces with appeal to any serious fashion follower—a generously cut black trench and some gleaming, feminine black satin dresses—Strehle stuck too close to a bygone—albeit important—fashion era.