After the Metropolitan Museum is done with it, 2013 will be the Year of the Punk. Miharayasuhiro seemed to be ahead of the curve by calling his collection Chinpira. It means "punk" in Japan, and it would appear Mihara was logging onto the Rotten/Vicious connotations of the word when he referred to "the non-conformist attitudes of the seventies" in the notes that accompanied his presentation. But look up "punk" and you'll find that the word used to mean "gangster," and that rang much truer with the story Mihara was telling on his catwalk. Don't think Black Flag, think Black Rain, a 1989 movie by Ridley Scott that starred Michael Douglas as a cop facing down Yakuza, the local mafia, in Tokyo. They were just the kind of hard-faced, slicked-back, sharp-dressed young men Mihara offered up as models tonight. "Violent, but with their own culture," he explained postshow. Like a gang, in other words, or maybe even a secret society.

The skull-and-crossbones embroidery was typical of the Sukajan jackets worn by Japanese thugs. The tone-on-tone print on a jacket could have been yakuza tattoos. Reptile prints and weaves also suggested the snakes that are stalwarts of gang tattoos. When Mihara gilded a snakeskin suit, it was just the sort of outfit you'd imagine an arrogant young hood donning to draw attention to himself, though anyone who stared too long would get a good kicking from the wearer's solid metal-toed shoes.

In this context, there was a bizarre delicacy in the traditional embroidery techniques used to weave real gold through a python-patterned suit and matching puffer vest. But the dark inspiration weighed heavy on the collection. The palette was somber, mostly black and charcoal, bar some flash-the-cash prints. The silhouettes tended toward the lean formality that seems to be the favorite of gangsters everywhere. Mihara is such an expert technician that his hybrid of biker and puffa jackets could be a must-have piece of outerwear come Fall 2013. But the joyful humanism that usually infuses his work was scared to show itself this time round.