New designer, new directive? At Azzaro, the answer is both yes and no. Mathilde Castello Branco was named the brand's creative director last year when the spot was vacated by Vanessa Seward, but the mandate remains essentially the same: pretty party dresses and event gowns, with the crystal strass embroideries that put the house founder's name in lights so many years ago.

Castello Branco, who hails from Lanvin, used the crystals sparingly and with some wit. The bow at the neck of a simple dove gray dress was picked out in stones, as was its tulle-covered peekaboo back, and the tiers on a little black number were embroidered with the crystals in a subtle, dégradé style.

What felt newsy was a print of aces, diamonds, hearts, and spades—we can't recall ever seeing a print at Azzaro—and a silver python used for a sweetheart-neckline cocktail frock and a sleeveless coat-dress. Outerwear was never part of Loris Azzaro's vocabulary, and it was the weak link here, but overall, this new incarnation of Azzaro holds promise. Next on Castello Branco's agenda should be finding a space that can accommodate the curiosity seekers. The house atelier doesn't cut it.