The program notes promised "Romantic Wilderness," which apparently referred to the snowy woodland set at one end of the runway. From the opening exit, though, it was more a case of a steep plunge into the stylistic wilderness, a surreal place where Etro's potentially lovely paisleys and prints became hopelessly embroiled with fetishistic lace-up platform thigh boots and were inexplicably topped off with velvet air-stewardess hats.

Was there something Russian going on here? That could have accounted for the Sonja Henie-like skating skirts and the vaguely Chekhovian Victoriana suitings, with the lower half cut off at thigh level. Did anything escape the debacle? Some good shearling jackets, a shaggy black and white goat-hair coat, and a couple of long, streakily printed chiffon dresses. Otherwise, though, this show was an unfortunate setback for a house whose heritage deserves to be enhanced and celebrated in a much more appropriate way.