Mathilde Castello Branco took a playful approach to the house archives in her first outing for Azzaro. Eschewing any literal references to their popular “three-ring” dress, she offered slinky draped evening gowns, some with Fifties sweetheart necklines, others featuring a plunging back, such as a navy jersey number with a silver parrot clasp over one hip. The Brazilian designer used a light hand when it came to Azzaro’s signature diamanté embellishment, sprinkling tiny crystals on the panels of a tiered black chiffon cocktail dress, or in the shape of a bow at the neck of a gray mini shift. But the collection appeared to lose some of its luxury cachet in the process, and a series of outfits featuring a naïve playing card motif felt oddly out of place.

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