The art of creating clothes is usually most enthralling when it's most obsessive, and Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi's new collection was exactly that. To isolate just one item from a series of OCD wonders: an elegantly slender skirt, falling to just below the knee, lavished with large paillettes, each of them painstakingly hand-covered in a different shade of tulle. The skirt looked like it was bedecked with thousands of shells of all sizes, but its partner—a simple short-sleeve shirt in lilac oxford cloth—lent a young, fresh attitude that counterpointed the ornateness.

And that was the mastery of the collection. If the connoisseurship apparent in the minute detailing of the clothes turned them into heirloom pieces, the craft never overwhelmed their essential lightness. This was underscored by the simple fact that everything closed in back with a single, easy zipper. The designers also chose silhouettes—either a short, high-waisted tulip shape, or that long, lean look to just below the knee—that offered the most straightforward canvases onto which they could project their ongoing celebration of Italian workmanship. This time, it was all about the Renaissance. The jacquard swirls of silver and gold that decorated silk ottoman jackets were inspired by architectural columns and capitals. When the same swirls were rendered in raffia and beads, they created extraordinary textures. It was the kind of stuff that rewarded touch, but at the same time, the gilded effects ravished the eye. The clothes looked like treasures—but not so precious that they couldn't elevate the everyday. Fashion's role in a nutshell.