Having taken Brioni young, artistic director Jason Basmajian is now taking Brioni colorful. Color was the big story for Spring at Brioni as, indeed, it's been one of the big stories so far this season. If it sparks more at the Italian suit house than at some others, that may be because it's a notable change in course. There was scarcely a gray or navy item to be seen. Basmajian piled on reds, ochers, teals, and purples at the outdoor presentation he staged at Milan's design museum, La Triennale. The inspiration was Slim Aarons, the unofficial official photographer of "attractive people in attractive places doing attractive things," as the lensman himself once put it. Each individual tableau at the presentation—a game of pétanque, a picnic on the grass, guys perched on Vespas, and so on—would've been a subject worthy of the master.

It wasn't just that the designer cut his unlined jacket in cherry red. It was that he showed it with a bathing suit, too. Model Arthur Kulkov was cycling around in a dinner jacket of deep plum. Several models were wearing specs from Brioni's new sunglasses collection (optical to come), and several had on sneakers, too. Even where the past was referenced, as in a lapel-less wool crepe hopsack cardigan jacket based on a piece from the sixties, it was slimmed and shaped to forestall fustiness.

Brioni's far from the only heritage label looking to sell to youth. But according to brand reps, its boldest items are moving from stores with its older and younger customers alike. That's reassuring, for fans as well as for PPR, the luxury conglomerate, which finalized its acquisition of the line at the beginning of this year.