With all the ups and downs at Gianfranco Ferré over the past couple of years, many people stopped paying attention. Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi, now in their second season at the label, deserve a look. Not because they assisted the late designer prior to his death in 2007 (these days, it takes more than brand affinity to make newly installed designers successful), but because they have something fresh to say about dressmaking.

In a Milan season in which many designers laid on the gewgaws—piles and piles of them, in fact—this duo focused on cut. And the cut of a series of gowns at the end of the show was quite striking, especially a black satin on-the-bias number with an asymmetrical, one-shoulder bodice, and a more formal gray column in what looked to be gazar. It had a high neck, one deep pocket on the hip, and pleats kicking out from a high slit. Three knee-length dresses in the same fabric had equally strong, architectural silhouettes.

Their daywear didn't have the same restraint: Double-face cashmeres, while luxe, looked bulky, and a fur jacket felt similarly grandiloquent. Still, those efficient evening looks are enough to go on for now.