Gaia Trussardi has stepped into the driver's seat at the house that bears her name after Umit Benan's departure earlier this year. For Spring, she used the notion of the great American road trip as fodder. That might've struck her predecessor as too obvious an idea, although anyone who was present at the show he set on a New York City rooftop will remember that he wasn't immune to the seductive powers of the good old U.S. of A. either.

In any case, Trussardi would've been smart to lose the cowboy hats and the bandannas clasped with metal slides; they gave the clothes the feel of costumes. Otherwise, this wasn't a bad beginning. Trussardi retained much of the menswear-inflected tailoring that Benan introduced at the label. A double-breasted ivory jacket tossed over the shoulders looked well-cut. Elsewhere, she added items that indicated she's sensitive to the way the fashion winds are blowing, like overalls in luxurious matte python, and any number of bandeaux and crop tops. And, of course, she made the most of the house's leather heritage, trotting out bombers and elastic-waist trousers in the stuff. For a designer novitiate, you can't legitimately expect much more. But the Milan calendar is stuffed with the most famous names in the business; this crowd will only tolerate a tyro for so long.