Technically speaking, there was only one garment in Rei Kawakubo's collection: a skirt. Apart from the stocking tops used to veil the breasts from complete nudity, and the horned cloth headdresses, she showed nothing else. Not even any shoes. And in fact, with their bunchy forms, exposed ridges of raw seams, and absence of waistbands, they weren't even really skirts as we know them. Kawakubo said the show was about "designing from shapeless, abstract, intangible forms, not taking into account the body."

It was also about testing the concentration of the audience. The wandering imagination tried to seize on the source of Kawakubo's forms. Were those upholstery covers or curtains she had torn down to sling onto the hips? What was the provenance of those puffy petals of fabric with their occasional pleated underlayers? As an enforced twenty-minute meditation on a single piece of clothing, it was a puzzling experience way beyond the realms of any normal fashion show. Still, there is something in Kawakubo's out-there abstraction that weirdly parallels the obsession with circular skirts that several designers are currently exploring. Apparently, it's not really all she's designed for summer, either. At the end of the show, Adrian Joffe, Kawakubo's husband, was standing by with assurances that there are plenty of jackets in the showroom.