The proof was in Tuesday's Armani Prive collection: a finely balanced affair contrasting the classic with the exotic.
In 54 looks, the designer tastefully combined luxurious silk materials — such as Mikado silks, clean satins, organzas and silk jacquards — alongside Africa-style patterns, geometric zigzags and bold color such as saffron yellow, ruby red and orange.
A huge lightning bolt down the catwalk added to the eclectic energy coming from ethnic-style jewelry, art deco hats and mysterious wands.
The statement was loud and clear: this season it was about intensity.
Stephane Rolland finally hit the right aesthetic for perfecting his take on pure architectural couture styles.
Accompanied by toga-wearing violinists, rich hourglass gowns flowed by in white silk and diaphanous white organza. Some looks came in black.
Sheer backs and see-through silk blocks on legs added touches of sensuality — proof why Rolland's a favorite with stars such as Kim Kardashian, who watched from the front row.
Rolland cited the Louvre's sculptural masterpiece the "Winged Victory of Samothrace" as a reference.
Indeed, windswept collars in the show that billowed from busts evoked Grecian drama.
The process behind the clothes in haute couture is often as interesting as the garments themselves. Rolland used a decorative technique of baking chiffon bubbles — literally in a furnace.
Gustavo Lins continued his signature masculine-feminine esthetic in his couture, which this season had a 1980s edge.
Again, the Brazilian designer put men on the catwalk alongside female models, who sometimes wore parts of a male wardrobe, like leather coats, fur waistcoasts and satin leather jackets.
Loose silhouettes outnumbered the more architectural pieces, with gathered 1980s-style high waists.
Not all the looks gelled together, but some great draped pieces that hit the high notes of the show.
One purple column dress with a loose, draped silk swirl cut a beautiful and unusual silhouette.
And some black and turquoise gowns had a feel of draping master Madame Gres.