Comme des Garçons: And now, for the bride-to-be who’s not afraid of bewildering the in-laws when she takes to the aisle, comes Rei Kawakubo’s beautifully quirky fleet of fantasy bridal fare. Making up for every season when she ignored fashion’s traditional bride finale, Kawakubo sent out scores of achingly pretty dresses in champagne, ivory, cream and pale rose, all frosted with yards of ribbon, bushels of bunting, bitsy bows, antique-y swagged lace and what-have-you. Yet, take away the towering tinsel-and-roses headgear, lose those gorgeous veils and wipe down the models’ bejeweled white-face, and the collection was a joyful celebration of femininity, one full of clothes — including dresses as well as cropped jackets, full pants, and circle skirts — that could be worn not only on that special day, but any day.

Banded with bunting and asymmetric frills, and constructed from spliced panels — some in delicate tiered ruffles, some printed with photos of tiered ruffles — Kawakubo’s dream dresses were appealingly complex. After all, with Rei at the drawing board, romance is never simple. Exploring the boundaries of union and illusion, she merged dresses with elegant coats to create a hybrid all-in-one silhouette. And, countering all that sweetness and light, she showed dresses trimmed with sharp black as well as a handful of stunning all-black gowns. In the spirit of the occasion, these were clothes to have and to hold.

Christian Lacroix: Christian Lacroix wears adversity well. With the sale of his house looming in January, he showed a breathtaking couture collection. And on Friday, Lacroix concluded his 18-year run under the LVMH umbrella with a a collection that had a major message: “Yoo-hoo, out there,” it called out. “I’m commercial.”

Given its transitional timing, it’s hardly surprising that Lacroix produced this collection within a lean budget. Whether out of financial necessity or to prove his critics wrong, it made for his most restrained showing ever, as he even dumped his typical elaborate hairstyling in favor of long, fluffy, side-parted manes. This newly spare beauty approach matched the clothes that he all but stripped of fantastical embellishments. Here, a dress, however lovely, did not burst into 3-D romantic reverie; it remained a dress, understandable to all. And rather than turn foil for collaged exotica, a jacket remained just that, chic and sensible. Lacroix even kept his colors in check, as eager to show a curvy black suit or jaunty pinstripes cut off into cuffed bermuda shorts as he was a studded, embroidered willow green coat over a printed Empire dress with a jeweled waistband. Evening, too, stayed relatively simple with short, flirtatious dresses and alluring columns trimmed with velvet ribbons. It all looked ripe for a vibrant retail run, and if along the way Lacroix sacrificed a bit of wonder, he retained the essential beauty of the clothes.

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