The sequencing of a Christian Lacroix couture show has a dizzying logic that only he could possibly orchestrate. One minute, you¿re looking at baroque-textured gold lamé; the next, giant pop-art daisies; then it's on to stormy-teal chiffon, neon-yellow satin, and swags of chintz. On top of this, you will also encounter short sixties coat-dresses, folkloric blouses, a touch of toreadors and infantas, romantic poufs, and utterly simple feats of draping.
Watching this potential cacophony of color and technique is one of the most childlike pleasures in fashion, a half-hour trance of delight during which a magician pulls surprises out of a hat. The reason it continues to entertain? As Lacroix goes on, his execution becomes ever lighter and more accomplished. One meringue of an invisibly bunched-up, petal-sleeved dress seemed held up only by air, while a brilliantly draped absinthe chiffon appeared to have been whipped around the body in a single gesture.
According to Lacroix's program preface, this particular collection was about flowers: roses, peonies, violets, marigolds, and geraniums. That's by the by, though. At Lacroix, the focus is less on making systematically coherent seasonal statements than on adding to a body of work that is an endless narrative around his favorite subjects. And as long as he does it this well, nobody will ever complain.