MaxMara's designers continued in the youthful direction established last season with a collection that touched on many of the current trends. Playing off the brand¿s strength as a coat business, they showed numerous variations on that Milan phenomenon (even for spring): the sporty, chic anorak. Here, it came cropped at the waist with a bubble skirt; as a dress with drawstring detailing; even shrunken into a bolero. Jackets were cut on the boxy side, in neoprene or with a blouson back, and were worn with tulip skirts with tucked hems for an easy new take on the suit. As on other catwalks, there were subtle tribal motifs, including patterned beading on shoulder straps. And here, the season's essential sack dress came in painterly abstract-floral silks.

The last part of the show could've used a sharper edit—how many ways can you drape, tuck, and wrap a metallic frock? Evening sarongs with oversize crystal straps managed to strike the right dressed-up-but-not-trying-too-hard note, but sweaters and pod-shaped skirts made from what looked like synthetic gorilla fur and a rubber floor mat were inexplicable—especially when the designers got so much else right.