Maybe it's a counter-reaction to the penny-ante horrors of reality TV, but Milan's designers are reaffirming their appreciation of the finer things in life. A couture sensibility stalks the land. Consuelo Castiglioni said that the essence of her Marni collection today was shaped by a prelapsarian innocence and purity. "But with a twist of the classic," she added. There was actually no need at all for the "but." The two notions were entirely compatible. The elegant, ladylike shapes of the new collection loaned themselves admirably to the sophisticated/naive shtick that has made Castiglioni's label a byword for alt-bourgeois chic. Just like hair-meister Paul Hanlon's unhinged bouffants—done but undone.

It may have been one of Castiglioni's strongest collections if only for the simple fact that it was about clean, clearly defined lines. Almost everything was anchored by an organza underpinning, which elongated the silhouette to fit the stocking-socked heels. Over that, Castiglioni could float something as sparkly as a candy wrapper, tufty with trailing strands of Lurex, and get away with its paradoxical precision.