The setting wasn't lacking in drama. Luisa Beccaria held her show in the grand Maria Teresa Hall of the Braidense National Library at the Brera Museum, and for musical accompaniment she hired Passionata, a British opera quartet who sang and emoted like divas. That's a lot for this dress-centric collection to live up to. Did it? Well, the lineup was overlong and suffered at times from heavy-handed styling (knee-highs, ankle socks, and Mary Janes spell overkill in anyone's book). But in the end, yes, the collection was wide-ranging enough to please all of Beccaria's constituencies, from Hollywood types to longtime fans of her girly frocks.

For the actresses, there were a number of red-carpet contenders: a navy and black sweetheart strapless taffeta gown, a red charmeuse siren column, and a dusty rose chiffon floor-grazer with ruched skirt and rosettes embellishing the bodice. For those whose lives don't revolve around awards shows, there were other options: The sweater dresses had a sweet charm, as did a few party numbers embroidered with scallops of frilly tulle. The designer also diversified a bit, layering cozy wrap cardigans over a lot of her dresses, and adding some tailoring to the mix. Feminine tailoring, that is. Where Beccaria goes, ruffles are never far behind.