The Ann Demeulemeester show began, as it almost always does, with a passage in black. This time it was tailored, slightly oversize jackets worn with slim cigarette pants topped by leather cummerbunds—no shirts. It wasn't until a few looks in that you could crack her Spring code. Cue the gulls on the soundtrack, the black wing print on a white cord motorcycle jacket, the delicate chains draped from the models' hair bands, and it came to you: caged birds.

The nature-versus-man conceit produced one of Demeulemeester's most seductive collections ever. There was a lot of bare skin underneath that moto jacket with lapels made of draped zippers; shrunken leather waistcoats, some without backs, didn't leave much to the imagination, either. The effect was never vulgar, though, thanks to leather bandeaus that covered the bust. Speaking of excesses, the bird prints were certainly plentiful for a designer who made her name in the minimalist nineties. They looked best solo, as on a long evening skirt with a train (worn with a black vest).

So, was this Demeulemeester's way of adding to the general conversation about exposure and sex? She'd probably say no. "I always start from an emotional place," she explained. There's little doubt that her fans will connect.