Alexander McQueen, showman, bad boy, where are you now? After joining Gucci Group and losing 30 pounds, the designer has shed his famously macabre show tactics. The most shocking things about his summer presentation were its stripped-down, old-fashioned romance and solid commercial appeal.

Against a giant screen projection of underwater scenes and Blair Witch–style haunted woods, McQueen unfolded a sartorial narrative that began with pirates and drowned maidens and ended in the rainforest. The odd journey took in brown leather corset vests and minis, worn with creamy chiffon ruffles, drapey knicker-length shorts, and Elizabethan doublets and ruffs. After a diversion into a largely redundant black sequence, McQueen burst out with prints and colors, and some major showstoppers in the form of floaty dresses in vibrant tie-dyes and jumpsuits in lime and electric blue. His crescendo was a rainbow-colored floor-sweeping gown with tulle ruffles and some spectacular boleros made of what looked like bird-of-paradise feathers.