After losing the rights to his name and taking the Spring season off, Alessandro Dell'Acqua was back on the runway today with a new label and a somewhat new approach. He's named the collection No. 21 after his lucky number (his birthday is December 21), and as he said backstage, "It's about real women." Or to put it another way? "There's more daywear." Dell'Acqua's focus on masculine staples like crisp blue cotton poplin shirts, boxy knits, and camel trousers puts him in step with the general direction fashion is heading in—a smart move in these more practical times.

But the designer didn't entirely forsake his louche side. The shift dress that opened the show, for instance, was practically staid coming; going, however, it was a different story, with a plunging rear view and ruched zipper. The lingerie details he loves turned up in the form of cool, understated lace tees and tanks, and above-the-knee skirts. And for evening, he was embellishing peekaboo chiffon in a gorgeous shade of emerald green with feather trim in the back.

It's going to take some time for Dell'Acqua to build this new image as a go-to guy for sportswear, but a classic leopard-print ponyhair coat made modern via its neoprene bonded leather trim and a pair of sexy fitted leather motorcycle jackets look like good starting points.