"It's not about Marilyn Monroe moving to India and having an acid trip," the ever quotable Alber Elbaz said about the pre-fall show he staged at the Bowery Hotel. "It's about real women's needs and desires." And since he's been noticing an increasing tendency among women to wear evening for day—"why save the best dishes for the guests?" he asked backstage—he took that as his direction. Generally speaking, that meant this collection had a much more dressed-up attitude than his hit Spring show, but fussy it wasn't.

A little black dress with a ruffled collar accessorized with scads of pearls was cut in a stretchy scuba fabric (a callback to September), and everything from a gray rib-knit sweater (worn with an ivory washed silk floor-length skirt) to a tailored jacket (the top half of a 1950's wool flannel skirtsuit) came oversized and easy. As for a bronze Lurex-shot dress, worn here with a brooch-studded tweedy cardigan jacket? It was in fact a versatile little blouse and skirt. Almost all of the looks were shown with thick ribbed tights or luxe long johns, which helped to ground even Elbaz's most romantic notions—a champagne silk slipdress dripping with necklaces, for one—in reality.

For kicks (and perhaps to make the most of the heightened visibility his collaboration with H&M has afforded the brand), he added a few Lanvin logo prints to the mix. One thing is certain: In Elbaz's hands, real life is never dull. That goes for the photo shoot in Lanvin's tiny Paris atelier that produced these lookbook pictures. Something wild, indeed.