An invitation to Le déjeuner sur l'herbe at Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's Metropol Theater arrived in a brown paper bag. The catwalk was grass; the backdrop was leafy trees; home movies of picnicking families played on the video wall. Gee, what could the theme of the D&G show possibly be? It's been an intense week for the duo, with the 20th-anniversary celebrations of their signature men's collection (never mind the months of planning), and there must have been many moments when life's simplest pleasures seemed mighty tempting indeed. Fortunately for them, they have their second line to express such feelings.

The collection was a hymn not only to simple pleasures but also to simpler times. Domenico and Stefano built it on the check fabric called Vichy, from the French town known for its production of cottons. It looks like every folksy napkin or tablecloth you've ever seen, and they used it for blousons, shirts, shorts, shoes, and the trim on collars and cuffs—just about anything, in fact, that could carry a pattern. It was positively invigorating.

Then the designers riffed on an equally nostalgic motif: the tropical print. Pair a Hawaiian shirt with cotton drill shorts and you've got a look that says "out of office" more succinctly than any automatic e-mail message. That will hardly win them awards for innovation, but it goes a long way to serving a fundamental function of Spring fashion. And, as the prophet Mary Poppins once counseled, "You find the fun in that last sentence and snap! The job's a game."