Vincent Darré's second go-around at Emanuel Ungaro was, in at least a couple of ways, more successful than his first. He settled on the house's opulent eighties phase as a source of inspiration, rather than knocking about its deep and varied archive. And once set on that trajectory, he thankfully forwent some of the decade's most garish moments—goodbye, last season's jarring prints and kimono detailing.

That's not to say things were subdued. Quiet, after all, was never Ungaro's style. Ruffles, bustiers, and poufy shapes abounded. And though Darré's palette included soft, silvery pastels, it was teal, saffron, and fuchsia that predominated, sometimes in abstract florals and geometric prints. He opened with bare halter shapes and finished with even-sparer bras and girdles, interspersed with brief cuffed shorts. It's not clear where the majority of these clothes would be appropriate, beyond the beaches and nightclubs of St. Bart's.

The real trouble is that the eighties are simply not where fashion's at. The audience would have welcomed a more personal statement from Darré, who has had successes at both Moschino and Fendi. But it's not clear that he's the man to make Ungaro's aesthetic relevant for today.