Luchino Visconti and Art Deco. We were a long way from the tropics and the Paul Gauguin references of last season at Aquilano.Rimondi tonight. That show seduced with its bare shapes and lush prints. Here, the designers were eager to explore mannish tailoring in heavy wools, and the different ways they could romance them. Not quite as obvious a sell, perhaps, but their ideas ran from the small scale to the grand, and the juxtapositions provided some pleasures of their own.

On the small scale: mink buttons on a double-breasted jacket, and a mink ribbon belt cinching a single-breasted one. Little details like that were charming enough for you to look past the tailoring's sometimes challenging proportions. And on the grand scale: a V-neck sheath in charcoal silk jacquard laminated with bronze Deco roses, and, for something a bit more extravagant, a wool overcoat in that same shade of gray embroidered in three-dimensional steel flowers. Both pieces showcased their flair for embellishment yet retained a sense of restraint.

That was less true of a dress in sheer organza featuring mink patch pockets and dense clusters of crystals. See-through dresses have become a thread in Milan, but we're not buying them. Elsewhere, it wasn't quite clear how Deco or Visconti apply to a cropped leather jacket and pencil skirt layered over another jacket with ribbed athletic cuffs and waistband. Those looks were points against Aquilano.Rimondi, but overall the good outweighed the bad here.