Karl Lagerfeld once oh-so-memorably said that his signature line reflected how he would dress if he were a woman. Which (aside from the obviously borrowed-from-his-own-wardrobe touches like the crisp, white high-collared shirt or the clerical color scheme) surely makes for the intriguing psychology that underpins this label.

For Spring, the designer talked about "blurring"—that is, rendering things not quite as they seemed. There were large, asymmetrical, girdling peplumlike patent-leather belts that shifted the silhouette, and veils of black chiffon trailing over indistinct floral prints. Erik Halley contributed metal body jewelry: Originally intended to mimic tattoos, it ended up looking more like a baroque lace, in contrast with the modernism of the clothes.

Modernism? Make that futurism, which was signaled by the first model, who beamed down in a Close Encounters shaft of light. Lagerfeld's sci-fi was actually more the retro-Blade Runner variety, as in an asymmetrically draped suit with forties tailoring or a pencil skirt that emerged from a peplum's pleated tiers.

This last item, shown in a sheer ice pink, clued us in to a more shadowy personality trait of this collection: a fetishistic maîtresse edge. If Chanel is Paris and Fendi is Milan, the Karl Lagerfeld line may be the place where he is most in touch with his inner Teuton—with all the severity that implies.