"Je suis realiste; c'est moi. Je ne suis pas fou" ("I'm not crazy. I'm a realist"), declared Salvador Dalí (implausibly) over the soundtrack of Christian Lacroix's latest adventure into Pucciworld—clearly a metaphor for the soberest collection he has produced for the house to date.

As the show opened with elegantly understated separates that mixed solid color—fuschia, purple, and the swimming-pool blue that is fast emerging as the hue of the season—with over-scaled print, Lacroix seemed to be signaling a reality check after the flamboyance of his debut at Pucci. He embraced the key pieces of a season strong on mismatched separates—shorts both micro and surf-length, the shrunken cardigan, the tiered gypsy skirt—before a slow build to the fantasy we have come to expect of his brilliant magpie mind.

Eyelet cotton, embroidered with tone-on-tone white-work in swirling Pucci patterns, was inset with vivid silk patchwork for gitane skirts and little tops pretty as paper doilies. For evening, tiny sixties shift or A-line swing dresses—one with a feather-frond bib, another with a faux necklace—looked perfect for a night at Caesars Palace with a latter-day Rat Packer. There was even a brace of solid-color chiffon evening gowns whose elaboration of cut and finesse of construction struck a chord with Marie Seznec, the dramatically gray-haired directrice of Lacroix's own-name haute couture house, making her debut in the Pucci front row.