If ever there was a lesson in the intricacies of pattern cutting to be learned, it came courtesy of Junya Watanabe whose show opened the Paris collections this morning.
The foundation of this hugely elegant proposal was nothing more obviously attention-seeking than a white shirt and pair of black cigarette pants, but such a perfectly executed interpretation of these wardrobe staples is rarely seen. Layered over them, meanwhile, were the signatures with which Mr Watanabe has also made his name - the perfecto, the trench coat, the cape - all cut in traditional menswear fabrics and pleated, spliced, and woven into honeycomb cages in the most technically accomplished manner imaginable.
The aforementioned biker jacket, for example, came with a circular shoulder and stood away from the body at the front, collapsing into concertina pleats from behind. A felted wool trench was cut close to the neck and shoulders and then fell away into a web of that same fabric from the empire line down.
On their heads, models wore sharply cut wigs or oversized head pieces that echoed the elaborate cut and proportion of the clothes. Their pale skin was decorated with inky black graffiti and their feet clad in typically aggressive, pointed-toe, studded, flat, black patent shoes.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this collection was that, for all their magnificent and even majestic appearance and the virtuosity of the finished designs, it all looked so effortless. As a showcase of how a modern woman who would like to stand out in the crowd without ever losing sight of dignity and grace might like to dress, suffice it to say this was second to none.