Frida Giannini had a vision of Russia in her head when she was working on her new men's collection. Kommissars and party apparatchiks? No. Oligarchs? No, not that one either. Frida was dreaming about tousle-haired, dark-eyed gypsy boys and their wild Cossack style. Eugene Hutz and Gogol Bordello? She's been listening to them and loving them. So picture a folkish printed tunic, its waist slung low with scarves and chains dangling with coins and charms, and you're getting close to the romantic heart of this collection. Post-show, Giannini agreed that her ideal of Russia and her Roman roots had a lot in common. "Energy, an irreverent way to live," she mused. "You can invent your life day by day without any plan."

Perhaps one could credit that sense of spontaneous reinvention for the more costumey extremes, like an evening group that wouldn't have been out of place in the toy kingdom of Ruritania with its braiding, bouclé, and brass hardware on black mink. Gucci's deep pockets clearly inspire Giannini to push the boat out into dangerous waters, but moments of relative restraint accounted for the collection's most appealing pieces. All those folk-art prints, for instance, looked fresh. A chunky gray knit turned must-have with a studded leather trim. Coins and charms were not only wrapped around waists, they also winningly decorated the placket of a shirt and piled onto a messenger bag. Coats and jackets were enhanced with velvet and fur trims (as opposed to the full whack of an astrakhan coat, for example). And a ponyskin biker jacket lined in beaver (worn over striped jeans) felt like the essence of Giannini's casual/opulent/young ethos. Her ability to make her fantasies real was her original strength. Here, she went some way to recapturing it.