Since launching their Research line in 1998, which is entrusted to a different designer every year, Ruffo Research has become an important talent scout in Milan. This season, Alexandre Morgado and Matthieu Bureau, who have already made a name for themselves with the playful collections they've designed under their signature label, Alexandre Matthieu, brought an infusion of lighthearted energy to the Ruffo runway.

Treating leather like fabric, the duo sent out punched-suede camisoles, perky little suits trimmed with delicate buckles, and great shift dresses with dangling chrysanthemum cutouts. The pièce de résistance was a distressed leather-strip skirt, which swished and sashayed as if it were pleated chiffon. Bureau and Morgado also devised a logo for the brand, in the form of glittery R's that turned up on dresses and shirts.

In the past, Ruffo Research has employed talents as diverse as Antonio Berardi, Raf Simons and Veronique Branquinho, An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, and Sophia Kokosalaki. With fashion editors and clients constantly on the hunt for new ideas, the Ruffo team clearly understands that promoting innovation is not only desirable, but in some cases absolutely necessary.