Antonio Berardi didn't get the memo about rigor and restraint. For fall—his second season in Paris—he sent out a collection of peaked-shoulder, nipped-waist jackets, pencil skirts, and clingy sheaths that was blatantly about sex. Many of the pieces came with their inner workings exposed: A bustier peeked out above the bodice of an hourglass flannel dress, and corsetry details were inset on the back of a fitted coat. And those were just the beginning of the often overwrought decorations. A cloud of black rosettes—like a corsage on steroids—clung to one arm of a dress, an evening gown's worth of crystals lined the edge of a cobalt cardigan in a heavy-gauge cashmere; that same daytime yarn—this time in acid yellow—was knit into a strapless minidress.

Of course, it's not Berardi's fault that the fashion pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and there's certainly still an audience for his brand of overt sexiness. However, many of the items he showed today—the sheer hose studded along the back seams, not to mention the role-playing props such as secretary glasses and nurse caps—would be better left in the bedroom.