The invite featured Mondino's classic shot of skinny Karl as guitar hero. The backdrop was stacks of amps, à la rock band of your choice. So far, so in tune with the edgy scrawniness of this label's wares to date. But then, typical of Lagerfeld, the clothes turned around and defeated expectations. The foundation stone of the collection was shorts. "Not Bermudas or hot pants," the designer was quick to point out backstage, but a contemporary variation that emphasized rounded hips. They looked almost like tap shorts, especially when they showed in white satin.

Lagerfeld pushed his idea with all-in-one playsuits—sometimes hanging off dungaree straps, sometimes with no straps at all—which dropped into deep-pleated shorts (it was particularly striking in red leather). This bizarre notion was so insistent throughout the presentation that it took on a persuasive life of its own. And, in its peculiar way, it fit with jackets whose hems were folded up to shoulders that buttoned down. Imagine WAACs hoofing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" on Mars and you get the picture. The clincher was a finale of outfits that were traced with an overlapping silver filigree. It was metal, yes, but it wasn't heavy. In other words, a practically lighthearted approach for a line that has, in the past, made an art of lugubriousness.