Kean Etro combines work and play like no other designer. However complex the philosophizing behind each new Etro show, the result is always so exuberant and engaging it could raise the dead (or at least a schedule-deadened band of fashion editors). This time, the models entered via a giant slide, then sped round a spiral catwalk (apparently symbolizing DNA and the galaxy) in a pell-mell riot of stripes, checks, and patchwork.

But as usual, there was canny method in Etro's madness: Amid the spectacle were perfect linen suits striped with color, masterful layerings of jersey polos and multihued shirts (some with a single contrasting band encircling their white collars), and artfully crafted decorative elements, like a placket of mother-of-pearl buttons or an appliquéd mandala (that spiral again). The season is all about color, so Etro was in his element, particularly with the trickier ends of the spectrum—a leaf-green suede jacket, a fire-engine-red safari jacket. One of those items should be enough to let the sun shine in, come summer '05.