MaxMara's designers read the memo about this season's trends—Japanese influences, deconstructed tailoring, jumpsuits, and pajama suits—then went off and did their own thing with them. What emerged took an early-eighties street-style turn: something from the moment when Comme des Garçons was new, Jean Paul Gaultier was emerging, and London's Buffalo Girls were dressing in an androgynous-rocker kind of way. It fits MaxMara's agenda to find a new raison d'être for a jacket, coat, and suit, of course—and this time the team worked it out by cutting jackets with volume in the back; making a gray pinstripe suit with a forties shoulder, nipped waist, and calf-length skirt; and paring back the neckline of a narrow belted trench. All this made sense, but the dippy-hemlined skirts à la Comme circa 1985 were a reference too clunky to look convincing.

As for the jumpsuits, well, MaxMara can claim to have been vindicated on that one. The house has been doing them for a couple of seasons already, and now, as so many others are piling in with them, MaxMara has switched its overalls from military khakis into black satin. Fair enough, but after that transition into glammier fabrication the impetus petered out. After all, how does a boy-girl dress for evening? Would she wear an ice blue charmeuse pajama suit? It was a question that left the show dangling on a bit of an odd note—like the hemline that had mysteriously been left hanging over one ankle.