With each passing season, Christian Lacroix stamps his imprimatur on Emilio Pucci with an ever-firmer hand. By opening his show with a simple black dress (albeit traced with intricate couture seams), the maverick talent took the Op Art zing out of the house—and sublimated his own wilder impulses in the process. Of course, this couldn't be expected to last, and scintillating color—think Bollywood-bright pink, scarlet, purple, and orange—soon crept into the funereal scene, if stealthily. Elegant little black dresses were partly splashed with bold Pucci swirls; covert flashes of signature printed leggings appeared between the hem of a short coat and the top of dashing black suede boots; and giant black houndstooth was overprinted to subdue the psychedelic effects of the design beneath.

Lacroix captured the voluminous spirit of the season in puffball blouson shapes—in wool or luxe duchesse satin—and in mushrooming skirts and billowing peasant blouses. Shine ignited those blocks of solid color—from lamé python prints to gold sequins tracing fissure patterns over a black satin trench coat.

The haute couturier in Lacroix let rip at night, providing temptations for a jet-set lifestyle from Ibiza to Mumbai. A skinny-rib black knit cardigan worn with a floor-length skirt in signature Pucci swirls of coral and black would be perfect for a banquet at Palazzo Pucci—and a dazzling evening gown in eye-popping orange chiffon (deftly spliced with a slither of purple as only a couturier can do) seemed destined for a red carpet moment—perhaps for Bollywood icon Aishwarya Rai?