Every few years, a designer comes along who dramatically alters the way we see fashion, defying categorization, eschewing conventional references and barreling ahead with highly individual ideas. Nicolas Ghesquière is proving to be one of those extremely rare talents.

As always, Ghesquière's collection for Balenciaga was well edited and to the point: no need for endless repetition here. The show opened with short overall dresses with loose black blazers, no-nonsense shirts with diagonal strip insets, tiny miniskirts and slim, sleek trousers. Blousy off-the-shoulder tops and asymmetrically cut, full skirts were generously ruffled, pleated, embroidered and gathered, and twisted and manipulated every which way. Wide belts with insets, dangling cords and strands of pearls broke the silhouette and provided a corsetlike effect.

The initial feeling at Balenciaga was one of blissful, extravagant chaos—but by the end of the show it all fell quietly into place and made perfect sense.