Whether the result of the financial crisis or sobering tastes, designers in Europe came back to earth for spring and, in doing so, got their hands—and feet—dirty. In Milan, D&G sprinkled dirt on the runway for its rugged-chic cowboy–inspired show, while Etro juxtaposed its kaleidoscopic collection against a sandy catwalk sparkling with crystals. Dsquared2, never prone to understatement, staged a summer-camp extravaganza, complete with trees, tents and even rain. Meanwhile, in Paris, 60 glass bottles of sand were strung underneath the runway lights, rigged to spill their contents two by two as Antonio Marras’ chic legionnaires took their final stroll for Kenzo. More than 450 pounds of sand created the spectacle for a collection that channeled the spirit of French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, whose adventures paved the way for French colonies in Central Africa. At Hermès, 21 tons of dirt imported from Belgium were spread on the fl oor of a former convent to convey the bohemian, country-gentleman spirit of the collection. It took four hours to remove the dirt from the floor of the Couvent des Cordeliers—still, a fraction of the 16 hours it took get the show ready.