Luisa Beccaria's show is a friends-and-family affair. Many international editors have crossed it off their list because, let's face it, there just aren't that many ways to reinvent the party frock. But Beccaria and her daughter Lucilla Bonaccorsi, who design together, do have a way with an occasion dress. And within the narrow, rather precious niche they've established for themselves, they do innovate.

Their freshest idea for Spring was to laser-cut humble cotton into narrow strips that they affixed onto tulle. The resulting coral-on-white sheath was crisp, not clingy; its demureness gave it a real appeal. Bonaccorsi's hand was evident in newer, youthful shapes like the crop tops, which were a success, and the shorts-under-a-dress look, which may be happening on other runways but was less convincing here. Elsewhere, iridescent butterflies embroidered on the bodice of a gown and the hem of a shorter cocktail number were a shade too chaste. But falling squarely in the designers' sweet spot this season was a cotton voile V-neck shirtdress with covered buttons and light blue lace appliqué. Nothing life-changing about it, but in this case, pretty was enough.