As New York fashion week begins, don't you find yourself wondering what the creative minds at Y-3 will bring us next?

Well, this season they brought a 230-foot wall of ice—they called it a "glacial installation"—to provide a frosty, wet backdrop for the runway at Pier 40. They also brought the season's new buzzwords: "purity," "confidence," "functionality," and "elegance."

This was a terrific collection that squarely hit the mark of what Y-3 should be: a little sporty, a lot of Yohji. The collection ran the gamut from baggy, drop-crotch Charlie Chaplin suits (some in big, brazen tartans) to long, draped layers of gothic black to Chanel-tweedy jackets that recalled Yamamoto's 1996 homage to the house that Coco built. The beauty of this still-strange marriage between Japanese avant-garde and track-and-field shone through in the artistic details, like the gently flared waist and poet sleeves on a practical anorak. The strong showing at Y-3 coincides happily with the February 5 opening of the brand's first New York flagship, in the Meatpacking District; the doors to another major store swing open in Soho next month. There was so much heat, we're surprised it didn't melt the ice.