09/21/2013 04:35 EDT | Updated 11/21/2013 05:12 EST

Aquilano-Rimondi arrive at Italian couture via exotic turns to Polynesia and Africa

MILAN - The design team of Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi may start with Paul Gaugin in Polynesia or African Masai crafts, but the end game is always Italian couture.

Aquilano-Rimondi's collection for next summer, previewed Saturday on the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week, is both colorful and pretty — ever inventive in its silhouette and yet fathomable.

The Masai gave Aquilano-Rimondi depth of colour this round: emerald, ochre, purple and blue that form concentric swaths on knee-length pencil skirts, crop tops with rounded shoulders or sheath dresses.

From Gaugin, Aquilano-Rimondi transpose images of the painter's Polynesian women onto a silk pencil skirt, worn with a man's shirt, a long-sleeved mini-dress or a boxy, belted top.

The designers recreate the brassiere and crop tops that have been a hit on runways for next summer, but in entirely original ways.

Crop tops took the form of a simple shawl collar tied in the front, or were squared off and fastened in the back with a bow or a button. Brassiere tops were adorned with sequins and mostly worn with high-waist pencil skirts belted to a gather.

Hemlines varied from knee-length pencil skirts to super minis.

The shoes were Masai-style sandals, flats or heels, colorfully bejeweled.