Sometimes, it's a bit of a challenge to work out just what's going on among the frenetic kaleidoscope of color, this-meets-that styling, the girly bag-swinging, and the melee of celebrity action that make up a Louis Vuitton show. Christina Ricci, the week's second Hollywood actress on a Paris runway (she's starring in Vuitton's house ads, like Nicole Kidman at Chanel), opened the show in a little black forties suit with a sparkling peplum. Pharrell Williams was in the house, too, wearing a pair of the red-plastic-framed shades he's designed for Vuitton. Takashi Murakami, a seasoned hit maker, was present by way of a cherry-print bag that flashed at the sides of the spangled circle skirts and shivery crepe de chine retro-flowered dresses.

Not surprising then, that this carnival of multidirectional brand projection was based, in part, on the big top. Marc Jacobs and his team had been looking at circus photos from the forties, which explains the colored sequin trims sprinkled among the puff-sleeved, tight-bodiced silhouettes. Then again, Jacobs also said he was inspired by the vintage clothes the model Querelle wears to her go-sees. He can't stand being tied down by too many literal stories, though. "I like hybrids," he shrugged. "And you know, it's just about having fun with clothes."

Which should be easy with this pick-and-mix variety show. Take the white peplum suits, bustle-frilled skirts, and dresses with Peter Pan collars or garlands of fabric flowers. Or go a crazier route, with neckpieces of fake flowers or collars of bright Lucite to throw the forties thrift store look off a notch. Logo lovers will get their fix from "LV"-printed pedal pusher jeans, cardigans patchworked with denim pockets, and of course, matching bags. Some of those were jeweled, or knitted and crocheted in Lurex to echo the flash of the clothes. Something for everyone—and not to worry too much about linear coherence. At the end of the day, what pulls everything together at Louis Vuitton is the way Marc Jacobs makes it sell.