Spring is the second outing for Alessandro Dell'Acqua at his new label, No. 21, and his focus continues to be on sportswear gussied up with lace and other feminine touches. That made for some interesting counterpoints, including a white ribbed sweater dress draped in silk crepe at the back, and a plain white tee paired with a long pencil skirt, its rear seam provocatively split to reveal a swatch of peekaboo lace. The "backstory" was important here: A jacket and skirt were bustled, skirt hems were asymmetrical, and a plain white cardigan worn with a brocade mini was inset with a square swatch of that rich fabric below the shoulder blades.

Lingerie was a big part of Dell'Acqua's business before he lost the rights to his own name, and no one's going to stop him from indulging his skill set as his new label. Sometimes, though, the results of his masculine-meets-femme concept felt forced.

The simplest pieces were indisputably the best. Magazine editors started scribbling notes when a simple khaki pantsuit—cropped, slightly A-line jacket; high-waisted, flaring trousers—came down the runway. A "public" pajama suit in a nude silk floral had the same uncomplicated appeal, as did a midnight flower-print coat-dress worn back-to-front. Minimalism, per se, has never been this designer's calling card, but it turns out he's got a knack for it. As he focuses on building the brand internationally, streamlined might be the smart way to go.