Perhaps only Junya Watanabe (or his mentor, Rei Kawakubo) could cut an Edwardian gown out of what looks like a black nylon sleeping bag—and call it "classic." But if you're tuned in to Watanabe's romantic, avant-garde wavelength, with prior knowledge of his body of work, the idea actually made a kind of sense— eventually. During the show, his deeply padded stole necklines evolved into Poiret-like wraps and then on into sweet renditions of utilitarian, down-filled jackets. Classic couture meets classic streetwear, if you will.

Watanabe also revisited his favorite personal classics—the tweed and denim he's worked to stellar effect in the past. He used micro-tweed in jackets with tiny accordion pleats circling sleeves and waist, and took the padding theme to the insides of a forties-style, turquoise and brown Donegal skirtsuit. His signature aged denims came cut into low-riding skirts and as a great pair of loose-fit jeans. Watanabe also developed this season's cape obsession, turning it into a fine layer of knitted lace, like a sophisticated version of a bed-jacket.

In the end, this was not one of those vintage Watanabe collections that set copyists off on a new path for seasons to come; but his inventive touch had a quiet appeal nonetheless.