Backstage after the Yohji Yamamoto show, one stood a better chance of gleaning clues about the duvet dresses and knotted-sheet skirts from makeup maven Pat McGrath than from the designer himself; his explanations can be Yoda-level at best. McGrath said she worked with the idea of "powerful dolls," which Yamamoto soon confirmed as part of a fairy tale he constructed—and then extended well past its visual limit. The designer never quite got around to describing how he achieved such impressive volume other than to confirm that volume was his focus. One would hazard a guess that the pieces were densely padded like pillows rather than structurally supported with crinolines.

But what began as an intriguing notion of gothic cocooning (inviting an inevitable comparison to last season's Comme des Garçons collection) quickly turned fantastically trippy as Yamamoto applied the same hand-painted graffiti-tattoo designs from his menswear to his women's silhouettes. Following a brief knitwear entr'acte, including shoulder detailing that vaguely mimicked samurai armor, he presented a few arbitrary tailored looks and then returned to his haphazard mix of ample shapes. The elephantine printed silk snow pants and the paddle mitts were particularly unwieldy (forget about holding a smartphone). The show culminated in a white leather cloak depicting doughnut-eating, dagger-wielding ogres and two other coats bearing outer-space and occult iconography. None of these subject matters would qualify as happily ever after by any definition. But here's a thought: Maybe this entire exercise was a reaction against the phenomenal ubiquity of the ultra-thin, monochromatic down jacket. Maybe the weirdness and wideness of Yamamoto's collection was his way of rewriting the rules of warmth.