Hussein Chalayan joined a band for the night. He stood next to a five-piece avant-garde combo called the Brood, picked up a red Fender and plucked away on a single chord during his show. The significance of it all was, as always, an unexplained Chalayan-esque puzzle. Did it have something to do with the fact that the clothes he put out were shorter, stretchier and more colorful than before? Not really. Though his layered jersey dresses came with complex cutouts and bottom-hugging miniskirts, the collection didn't rock 'n' roll.

For spring, the designer revisited his obsession with construction and deconstruction; the clothes were shredded and cut away to expose layers of fabric and outline zones of flesh. Ironically, though, Chalayan is at his best when he veers away from academic complexity and his design emerges as recognizable garments and trends. The pieces he executed in drapey black—the shirt with wide armholes paired with a wrapped-waist skirt and the halter vest over pants—were beautifully cut and ready to be worn anywhere. There were exquisite layers of diaphanous pleats in a beige dress and fluted tunic, and there were a few pieces in lingerie pink and dusty greens that related to current fashion. As to what it all "meant"—that's a mystery likely to remain locked up in Chalayan's head.