There is something about the grandeur of conceit involved in a Gianfranco Ferré presentation; it belongs to an order long gone from fashion. Ferré will take a theme, often inspired by travel or art, and systematically work into it, color by color, pattern by pattern, showing every ingenious angle on the subject in exhaustive sequence.

For summer, his influences were a meld of the graphic works of Italian secessionist artist Vittorio Zecchin and a vague impression of South America. The associative link between the two is, apparently, a graphic pattern of circles, which Ferré treated in a multiplicity of laser-cuts on everything from organza to leather, and used to make abstract references to Latino costume. Not that Ferré's females are remotely related to the au naturel peasant; stiletto-heeled Amazon is more his style.

Ferré's woman is at her most impressive in his simplest offerings. The lean gray or pale-blue silk pantsuits with which he opened his show are masterfully cut, and with a big-collared shirt (another genre he has perfected over a lifetime) look absolutely pertinent. From there on, though, the experience of watching Ferré's thoughts about the many possibilities of laser-cutting is like taking a trip to a parallel dimension. Occasionally an item like a cardigan smothered in mother of pearl and edged with dark bands of caviar beading will pique genuine desire. But otherwise, what with the costumes and the prolix arias on various sentiments, a Ferré show has become more akin to a long night at the opera than fashion.