In a dark, dark season, the cumulative effect of Fall's shows makes the eye crave more of the punchy color that's been cropping up here and there. That could have been an opportunity for Matthew Williamson, who at Pucci is in charge of tweaking Italy's richest print archive. Today he took things in the general direction of the seventies, though his opening tableau announced that he had more on his mind than dealing with psychedelia: It comprised Popsicle-orange and -pink tunic dresses, short skirts, and A-line coats, all in plain felted wool.

When the print came, it was angular and geometric, based on a pattern Monroe once wore, or composed of rounded-off overlapping rectangles and, in one section, an architecturally derived scheme called "Duomo." All these were applied to skimpy jersey dresses and long caftans, liberally mixed with fur bombers and frizzy Mongolian lamb chubbies and styled with suede wedges and clunky, geometric cuffs.

If the intention was to demonstrate Pucci's push to become known as more than a maker of jazzy dresses, that's fair enough. The critical point, though, in this of all places, is whether the color choices are sufficiently spot-on to put Pucci in a position to mix with directional fashion. And that was the trouble: Somehow, none of Willamson's combinations of dusty pinks, purples, ochers, browns, and greens ever lifted themselves to the vivid level of the magentas, turquoises, electric blues, and oranges that are setting the pace right now. If he wants to get that right next season, he'll need help to fine-tune his palette.