If you felt like you'd seen it all before at John Galliano, it's because you did. At least in some ways: A year ago, he sent out a parade of Russian/Balkan folkloric princesses; this season, as his program explained, "a tribe of adventuring nomads" trekked "through a mountainous terrain, crossing imaginary borders in search of a new land." Last March, there was fake snow; today, his bronzed, bewigged, and behatted models walked through a blizzard of silver glitter. There were some striking similarities between the two collections' clothes, too, starting with the very first pannier-skirted caban coat.

Of course, Galliano's workmanship was, as ever, top-notch. And the imaginative melding of cultures and eras into single outfits—a popular theme this weekend, with Jean Paul Gaultier exploring similar territory—was something to marvel at, too, especially near the end, when bias-cut gowns aswirl with yak fur (not as strange as it sounds) made their grand entrance.

However, now, even more than a year ago, there is a rather glaring disconnect between this spectacle of a show and the bigger fashion picture, with its new focus on simplicity. The fireworks (yes, fireworks) that accompanied Galliano's bow only threw that disparity into higher relief.