The first look sent a ripple through the stunned audience. Out came the model in a leather coat and matching rolling suitcase printed and embossed with a double-Y logo that seemed to be poking rather obvious fun at the Louis Vuitton monogram—and taking a swipe at the corporatization of fashion in general. (Whatever Yamamoto's intention, it struck a wrong note.) More logo-leather tail coats followed, along with intarsia sweater dresses and biker vests, all layered over skinny pants and topped off with printed head scarves wrapped, knotted, and braided into the models┐ hair.

Next came an interlude of black-and-white polka-dot hoop skirts that at the touch of a switch revolved, the tiers of the most complicated one turning in different directions. Despite the inevitable comparisons that will be made to Hussein Chalayan (who sent out his own motorized showpieces last season), you could feel the audience breathe a sigh of happy relief. This was more familiar territory.

After a bride in a camel-on-white version of the logo pattern, Yamamoto returned to his signatures again in the show-closing series of strapless dresses variously tucked, pleated, and gathered, and worn over an array of pants, some cropped below the knee, others zipping narrowly at the models┐ Dr. Martens┐clad feet. The beginning of the show was off—Yamamoto┐s too sublime a talent to indulge in such unsubtle lampooning—but by the finale he was back at his best.