Milan's centuries-old La Casa dei Demoni, a Renaissance-era palazzo-turned-contemporary private club, provided a template of sorts for Piazza Sempione
's Fall collection. The house's fading wallpaper was reflected in the print of a sleeveless dress; the peeling paint had echoes in the frayed-fabric selvage ruffle extending from shoulder to hem on a camel shift; and one of its rambling, run-down rooms inspired the abandoned-mansion watercolor print of a third short frock. Designers Ioanna Soleas and Daniele Calcaterra were smart not to take the deconstruction theme too far, though. Doing so might have alienated the department store customer who relies on this brand for the kind of clothes that take her to work and out afterward; as Soleas put it, "never too dressed up, never too dressed down." There were extremes here: The collection went from the almost edgy (black leather leggings and a V-neck leather and wool top) to all the way uptown (a trim two-tone coat in ivory and brick red). The best piece, a black and white fil coupé
strapless dress worn over a second-skin knit, landed somewhere in the middle, but wearing it you'd be guaranteed to stand out.