With each new season, Jen Kao spreads her creative wings a little further. Her Spring runway show began with a drawn-out moment of darkness. A glowing orb of a spotlight lingered on the first model's solar plexus before the runway finally lit up, revealing an impressive headpiece that would put most Anna Dello Russo fascinators to shame. Kao worked with Paper-Cut-Project designers Nikki Salk and Amy Flurry on the elaborate, origamilike pieces in the show, including that opening "Paper Crown Imperial Masque." At times they distracted from the clothing, but they heightened the collection's overall sense of drama.

Kao did some Edward Scissorhands work of her own on a double cutout-shoulder striped number that had just a touch of sheerness to it. There was also a checkerboard knit dress and an ombré kimono trench in rip-stop fabric that called to mind the sunset scene in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, a favorite movie of the designer's.

Zooming in on accessories, stylist Catherine Baba slung multiple ostrich and leather mini rucksacks over the models' shoulders. And Kao created rose gold skeleton earrings and hand-painted "poison garden" charms. As a whole, it was a lot to take in. Like that crazy headgear, many of Kao's designs are less about everyday wear and more about creative appreciation.