The late Franco Moschino was fashion’s greatest prankster, always playing the silliest tricks on his audience to jolt them out of their seriousness. So when the models at this house decided to open the show by walking the runway backward, it was a jape that took the audience back to the old days in a very welcome way. After the laughter, though, came a lot of scribbling in notebooks, because the clothes the girls were wearing happened to be some of the youngest, perkiest, most wearable in Milan this season.

All of Italy’s major Spring fashion statements, from kimonos to prints to chiffons to layers, came down the Moschino runway. The bonus was that everything was handled with a great sense of color—pretty pastels, tiny flower prints mixed with polka dots—and without any vulgarity. Add in nippy styling ideas, like sheer apron dresses, sprinkled with sequins, to wrap over almost anything a girl owns, and the result is a design feat that merited all that happy applause.