The Brera library is one of Milan's hidden gems. Nestled on the top floor of the Accademia di Brera (one of Italy's most prominent, and most historied, art schools), it is a charming concoction of wrought-out, gilded stuccos and wooden shelves crammed with books from floor to ceiling. It is opened to the public oh-so-rarely, but Gaia Trussardi knows how to push buttons. The collection she presented there widely benefited from the grandiose set. Models stood in the main room, reading aloud in different languages, each one dramatically lit by spotlights that pierced the pitch dark and accompanied by a disturbing figure dressed in total black. "That is the dark soul, and represents ignorance, a lack of culture", she explained. Maybe it all sounds a bit too brainy for a collection that was essentially streamlined sportswear done in supple leathers, thus rendered exquisitely luxurious -loose calfskin basketball shorts were a standout. The whole situation looked intensely theatrical, but somehow it made perfect sense. Gaia Trussardi is fine-tuning her storytelling skills, and the context she chose was an apt one to describe Trussardi's man of leisure, with a new twist. Effortless elegance was therefore the key. It was as if the best Italian artisan workmanship and sartorial tailoring had been blended with casual American style. Everything was perfectly constructed, but nothing was rigid or structured : the drop shoulders, jogging pants, and soft lines gave tradition and style a subtle, light touch. Materials were surprising and high tech : mat-like woven and raffia fabrics, buttery soft double glove leather. New techniques were used to create products such as leather backed with a 3D-effect mesh and another bonded with neoprene to create a wrinkled finish. Pretty chic and casual at the same time.