Marking its 20th anniversary during Milan Fashion Week, Italian knitwear specialist Avant Toi went all out with a courtyard carnival, body painting, scarf making and — behind a black curtain — its spring collections.

Models lounged on kilims and poufs, drawing on hookahs, nibbling on figs and enjoying a belly-dance performance. The haremlike scene heightened the bohemian character of the spring collections: mottled hammer pants and mesh sweaters for him; gauzy macramé jackets and silvery, crystal-studded cardigans for her.

Artists airbrushed the taut torsos of other models, mimicking the signature techniques of creative director Mirko Ghignone, who knocked cashmere off its precious pedestal, giving it a more lived-in, earthy character.

“Every item is painted by hand, so that each one is exclusive and different,” Ghignone explained, pointing to the family-owned firm’s destroyed and ombré cashmere or silk knits. The creations on skin came courtesy of Fiorella Scatena, billed as Italy’s body-painting champion.