Why a Christian Lacroix show in the middle of New York’s fashion week? Better to get a jump on the season, seems to be the firm’s approach. And, according to a spokeswoman, retailers get to see a more commercially styled Lacroix collection, that mixes his Bazar and ready-to-wear lines. The mix was the perfect foil for fall’s gypsy-inspired collection. In that vein, there was a riot of color, embroidery, lace and swirling asymmetrics, all tossed together in Lacroix’s exuberant style.

He played with his fabrics even when it came to a more tailored evening suit, using the matte side of a black-and-gold jacquard silk, while saving the shimmering side for a gown. But it wasn’t all about gypsy women. There were terrific strict but sexy pinstriped jackets over calf-length skirts. And the color-blocked, sheared and knitted rabbit coat — Lacroix at his liveliest best — made for an amusing exit.

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