It was a bit of a Dadaist experience at Etro, in more ways than one. Perhaps inspired by the nonsensical, confrontationist antics of the early twentieth century art movement, several guests were given doubled-up seat assignments, and others received ticket numbers that correlated to invisible chairs. Or maybe that was just a slip-up. In any case, after much delay, the Dada-inspired show went on, though as it turned out, not much troubled by anything more artistically challenging than a twenties interlocking concentric circle pattern.

Etro's heritage in elaborate mixed-media print and embroideries explains the hum around the label these days. At a time when pattern and color have become attractions for shoppers, burnt orange, purple, and tomato red, worked into Deco geometrics, antique Japanese embroideries, paisleys, and rose prints have an eye-catching currency. That provided material for some unique pieces, but not necessarily for a credible runway show. There were some pretty floral patchwork-print Empire-line dresses that are becoming a house signature, but there was too much eking out of ideas to sustain this presentation.