The glorious heritage of Emilio Pucci—all those fabulous, swirly psychedelic prints—has been crying out for a genetic match with a designer who can give it new life. And who better than Christian Lacroix, a man who has color, pattern and a sense of the sunny Mediterranean imprinted on his very soul?

Lacroix has taken his first season in the Pucci hot seat very seriously but with a light heart. There are few designers as accomplished with bold color as he, and this collection showed his skills. He put purple with brown and pistachio, mixed coral and turquoise with yellow, and printed the patterns on floaty chiffons and the house's signature slinky jersey. His harem pants, one-shoulder goddess tunics over leggings, and dresses that trailed handkerchief points all keyed into a Technicolor fantasy of an endless summer pool party. That should go down just beautifully in Saint-Tropez, St. Bart’s, Ibiza and the like. City dwellers craving a slice of the dream found something, too: a few mad, bright tracksuits, a pair of classic Pucci capri pants and a fantastic purple-and-green satiny-cotton trench, which will defy the misery of any rainy day.