Federico Piaggi and Stefano Citron's collection for Gianfranco Ferré today looked uncannily like a Haider Ackermann show. That's partly because Ackermann's flourishes—popped lapels; big, looping obi-style belts; jackets tucked into pants—owe a debt to Ferré's own. Since the Italian designer's death, the house has struggled to find its way, and in the meantime, another label has gone and taken its thunder. The unfairness of that probably keeps Piaggi and Citron up at night. Admittedly, the wiseness of their approach this season, with Ackermann so much in the fashion spotlight, is debatable.

Still, it was clear from the beginning that the designers were feeling confident; this being the first time that they've presented outside of Ferré's headquarters. If the collection wasn't exactly the "new start" they billed it as, they've at least loosened up a bit. In the case of one halter top—a glorified scarf, really—they loosened up too much. No one wants to worry about her breasts popping out of her eveningwear. But other pieces had the right kind of drama; among them: an elongated smoking jacket with satin revers, a soft white blouse with bat-wing sleeves tucked into double-waistband pants, and a long sleeveless dress with a high slit worn with one of their croc obi belts.