On paper, the ingredients that go into a single Lacroix outfit just shouldn't work. Take an overblown, patterned djellaba coat with a humongous collar of dip-dyed felt strips and ostrich feathers, two gargantuan strings of pearls, a lace jacket, and a jumpsuit, worn by a girl sporting a towering black wig with a straw hat perched on top. It sounds like pure insanity, but this was the introduction to the spirited, delightful, ethnic mix-up that captivated Lacroix's audience from look one to the bride.

It takes a lot to reduce a sophisticated audience to a state of girlish wonder, but that is the childlike response Lacroix elicits every time a model removes one of his outrageously elaborate coats to reveal some little dress in an incongruous but utterly amazing color—say, powdery pink, oxblood, arsenic, mauve, dusty cyclamen, or vermilion. At second glance, the simple-seeming underthing will also turn out to have a beautiful patch of silver sequin or lace inserted in the neck.

It's eye candy of the highest order, yet there's nothing extravagant or competitive about the way Lacroix shows. These days, he simply stages his collection in the unpretentious Palais de Tokyo museum, preferring to load all of the resources that might go into sets and Champagne into finessing every last fabric, crystal, and bow to the nth degree. So be it. When Lacroix turns out a collection as accomplished as this, it's surely worth it.