Tod's, the crown jewel in Diego Della Valle's fashion empire, has long had a ready-to-wear component. Back when the American Derek Lam was designing it, the clothes were a small part of the brand's seasonal presentation. But with Alessandra Facchinetti at the helm as creative director since February, the label's ambitions are bigger. A familiar name from her days as a designer at Valentino and Gucci, Facchinetti staged her first show for Tod's this afternoon, and it was an impressive outing.

"Well, that was the best show we saw all day," a nearby editor said. Indeed it was, not only because of Facchinetti's playful riffs on the house's famous pebble-soled gommino loafer (the extra-long fringe was a fun touch), but also because of the clothes, which had a quotidian sex appeal that will really speak to women. Take, for example, the humble shirtdress, which she finessed the hell out of. In brick red cotton laser-cut in an eyelet pattern, it wasn't actually humble at all, but it retained its everydayness, which is key. Meanwhile, we'd bet that any number of high-profile types in the crowd would've happily exchanged what they were wearing for the double-breasted pantsuits that trotted down the runway. Be honest, ladies, how many other Milan shows can you say that about?

Backstage Facchinetti said she wanted to treat leather like cotton. Apropos of that, a dusty pink one-shoulder dress in papery leather is worth calling out—it was the opposite of fussy. Backless leather harness tops didn't quite merit that distinction, but on the other hand, the Gio Ponti-influenced color-blocked leather pieces looked graphic and great.

In Tod's PR materials and in the media, Facchinetti and Della Valle have made much of her Italian-ness and Tod's Made in Italy values. We guess that counts for something, but what really seemed to matter here is that Facchinetti is the woman Tod's wants to dress. We speak each other's language.