Nuits d'Été, it was called, which gave some clue to at least a few of the dozen or so things that were going on at Chanel. Summer Nights, Grease, fifties Americana? Maybe that would explain the opening of blue-jean everything, from jackets to trenches, wide-leg jeans to dungarees, and, yes, bathing costumes—and then the parade of star prints and red-and-white striped jackets, and the Ronettes singing Be My Baby in the background. Really, though, it looked more as if Karl Lagerfeld had set off with a cry of "Let's see how many trends of the season we can tick off this time."

So, apart from the fifties, and the stripes and the stars (which have been shown elsewhere, but not in the flag sense), Lagerfeld checked off transparency, in the bottom half of organza evening looks; ran exhaustively through the all-in-one, from overalls to silk pajama types to teddies; and also touched on masculine-feminine tailoring, the big shoulder (with a new side-loaded epaulette), ballerina lengths, gold—oh, and soft, thirties circle cutting (actually, he was the first with that one, over at Fendi).

In other words, it was the regular Chanel ready-to-wear tsunami of style, strewn with a plethora of surface devices like grommets and portholes (in a bag) and loaded with pearls, chains, bows, bangles, buttons, and star-strung jewelry. Though it teetered on the brink of that other Parisian trend, randomness (the one Rei Kawakubo brought up at Comme), Lagerfeld kept the Chanel classics bobbing along on the surface as a lifeline to the elegance-seekers of the world. Some of the jackets—like the multilayered white chiffon—and the simple fitted dresses, with flattering circles of paillettes in the flanks, had the true stamp of the investment about them—the sort of dateless things that transcend any transient trend.