Was Gianfranco Ferré working as a guardian angel for Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, his successors at the label, this season? It was in his library that they found the photograph that inspired their new collection, in a book about India. It showed two old yogis sitting in front of their hut. Hard to imagine humbler beginnings. "But you don't start from luxury to create luxury," said Rimondi. Instead, they began with the textures of old wood, the colors of dust and heat, and the drape of a yogi's cloth, the combined effects of which helped shed some of the uptightness that's been holding back their work.

On a linen-covered catwalk, the duo paraded their idiosyncratic vision of an East-West fusion: Neapolitan tailoring in gilded jacquards or pajama striping, creamy double-breasted suits with leopard slippers, a Nehru-collared chambray smock with matching pants (which looked like nothing so much as Babe Paley's gardening outfit). Shades of curry, cinnamon, and burnt brown were certainly in the Indian color range, but the silky sartorial precision of three-piece suits with striped shirts and ties was equally evocative of the aristocrats in Luchino Visconti's celluloid re-creations of fin de siècle Sicily. Either way, Aquilano and Rimondi have marked out some promising new territory to explore.