Something sexy this way comes: bodies, bandeau tubes, tight graphic stripes. As a take on body-con and the smooth, attenuated silhouette, Margiela's was one of the sharpest and least retro versions on offer. His revisionist working of the possibilities of cling-fit stretch created a whole new look, but how to describe it? Put together from abbreviated, horizontally banded beige and black body pieces, it was part swim, part foundation garment, with matched armbands and the occasional trompe l'oeil bicolored stocking-legging added to give total coverage.

Later on, Margiela introduced a clever way of layering fluidity into the picture, making flyaway, cutaway pieces to shrug over shoulders, or skirts that were short in front and long in back (or vice versa)—a modernist underground alternative to the floaty chiffonery that's surfaced in the mainstream. That segued into a passage of "vestigial" accessories—a couple of dresses with shoulder bags hilariously implanted at the armpit, and 3-D fabric buckles standing in place of belts. That train of thought—the "ghosts" of garments—also led Margiela to shred denim to become fringed pelmets or ultra-tattered jeans under jackets with vast, pointy shoulders. Was this a convergence with the rising interest in Americana that's bubbling up in so many other collections? Probably, yes: For evening, there were reinterpretations of a "found" fantasy Western photo-print T-shirt, made into bustier dresses. In all, there was plenty to think about from one of the most innovative designers in Paris.