The fact that there wasn't more than met the eye at Brazilian Alexandre Herchcovitch's show was a good thing. His rather ponderous mission statement, declaring the collection "a focused study of politically troubled, foreign-ruled, war-torn countries," was germane only insomuch as it gave context to the khaki military details that appeared throughout. As for the Vaseline around the models' eyes, that was not meant to be tears, and—no, Herchcovitch explained backstage—the strange "editorial" ruffled crotches that appeared a few times had nothing to do with sex (mind out of the gutter!).

The show was in parts wearable (Ottoman-inspired print blouses paired with short, gorgeous sequined lamé dresses) and outrageous (see above). The best way to understand it was to learn that Herchcovitch started his career working alongside his mother among lingerie and lace. Suddenly (forget Freud) his almost Victorian indulgence in chiffon and ruffles fell into place: The designer's heart belongs to Mama, and the clothes—some seriously oversize shoulders aside—were not a political statement but an homage to the boudoir. Titled "Army of Love," the collection might not win over the centrist mainstream, but it had a quirky appeal.