"Dad read me fantasy stories when I was a kid in the seventies, with Frank Frazetta's illustrations of mysterious, intergalatic regal queens being fought over. I was brought up on that—and Wagner," said Rick Owens. "So this is for Dad—he's here." Backstory revealed, Owens sent out his lightest and most ethereal collection to date, shown on the sidewalk outside his newly opened store in the Palais Royal. Pure-white organdy asymmetric jackets, crunched up around the neck and gathered into a peplum in back, were paired with complex handkerchief-point or draped skirts, striding leggily out on shaggy-chiffon, signature-Rick shoes.

The lightness, together with rock-couturish flourishes like the spiky black ribbon-ties jutting from shoulder fastenings, turned this into a sit-up-and-take-notice sequel to Owens' more predictable journeys around his personal netherworld. Funnel hoods, pulled all the way over to veil faces, gave a semi-scary jolt, but that was only a problem until they were pushed back—then they were just a detail in an elegant, flyaway evening coat. Still, like other designers this season, Owens didn't have the bottom half of his collection resolved. His dresses were in the bias-cut groove he's worked forever—the aesthetic he calls "Scotch-taped Vionnet"—but, annoyingly, this time they were all sheer. A quick Google search of Frazetta (there's a museum in Pennsylvania) shows why: All of those lusty maidens were nude. Panties don't really solve that problem, so let's hope Owens has a few boring old slips in reserve to help out.