Milan's fashion collections seemed to be going in two distinct directions: the warrior women, ready for a melee in their mod revival look, and the quieter types who'd prefer, frankly, to sit on the sidelines with a nice cold cocktail to keep them company. Alessandro Dell'Acqua falls resolutely into camp B, with a Fall collection full of slithery soft fabrics and pale boudoir colors.

It's not that Dell'Acqua, who also designs for La Perla, was suggesting his customer put her sex appeal on hold; he just wanted to add a little romance along the way. Chiffon tops cascaded over skintight pants, ombre-dyed ostrich feathers fluttered from the top of a halter, and minidresses were of the ruffly and unruly variety. Even when he tried to be serious and severe—as with a series of snug black separates done in satin and velvet—it came off as gently enticing. For those seeking to avoid hard edges in these tough times, Dell'Acqua's soft sell has undeniable appeal.