Here come the brides. Comme des Garçons was an invitation to an extraordinary wedding of high concept and beautiful clothes—romantic, Victorian-flavored creations of lace and ruffle. Each model wore an antique lace veil, trailing to the ground, surmounted by ever more colorful and evocative circlets of flowers as the procession went on. Their faces were powdered white and traced with sequins around the eyes. Their outfits formed a poetic sequence: leg-of-mutton sleeves, amazing patchworks of fan pleating, tulle, satin, and daisy chains of pure white lace.

To encounter religion in a house of fashion, in times like these, is potentially controversial. Rei Kawakubo declared that her nuptial rites were about "anticonservatism," but they evoked not a shred of confrontational politics. Understanding that was a question of sight and sound. The brides advanced to the strains of High Church organ music, with occasional patched-in sounds of marriage celebrations from Gypsy, Jewish, Mexican, and Caribbean weddings. The music formed a counterpoint to the visual impact of the headdresses, which burst into garlands of paper flowers, tinsel, and chains: a symbolic tour of the power of love, hope, and reconciliation in any culture you care to mention. In a riven world, it takes a wise woman to point to that.