There was something interesting about the shoulders at Véronique Leroy's show today. Like a lot of designers in Paris this season, Leroy sharpened her shoulders and built them out; what was particularly interesting about her interpretation of the trend was the shruglike execution. The attitude conveyed by the padded shoulders on a belted black suit jacket was that of pretense: Here was an urchin girl, not just playing at being a lady in her soigné clothes, but really trying to sell it. Much of this collection came off as a kind of performance of the bourgeois.

And that was no accident. This season Leroy was inspired by the Claude Chabrol film La Cérémonie, though you didn't have to be familiar with the movie's themes of class ressentiment to get the gist of the collection. The designer told her own version of the story through fabrics, like a speckled material that suggested tweed but wasn't, or an abstracted Prince of Wales check in patent leather. Leroy's emphasis on conventional bon chic, bon genre garments, like twinsets and scarf-neck sweaters, underscored the point. To her credit, she didn't let her premise get the better of her; there were a lot of clothes here that didn't seem to carry much meaning, but they looked terrific, so it didn't matter. You didn't need a theory to get what was great about a sleek ponyskin coat in burgundy-tinted brown, or to revel in the tactility of a navy top in close-cropped, fuzzy sheepskin. Leroy's materials are her calling card, and in this collection they did much of the work of making the clothes feel modern and special. The main flaw was the belts: There was some issue with the way they sat on a lot of the garments, such that waistbands came exposed as the models walked and shirts bunched up. These things happen at shows, but in this case the problem made you realize that the belts were acting a bit like duct tape, rigging not-quite-finished looks together. You expect Leroy to be more rigorous than that.