At Comme des Garcons, Rei Kawakubo left a lot to the imagination, showing dresses and tops that added bulk to the parts of the body most women spend their lives trying to slim.
Lumps and bumps of padding rounded out the hips, stomachs, bust lines and backs of frock coats and tartan dresses, as if the body was too pumped up for the clothes to restrain it.
Other times, the padding coiled around the body like sausage. And still other times, it was arranged in a way that evoked hip panniers on dresses fashionable during the 18th century, when a woman's status was proportional to how much space she occupied, not how little.
The collection progressed to a finale of white, cloud-like dresses bursting at the seams with pillowy fluff, as if the models had the stuffing knocked out of them.
Was Kawakubo commenting on the female condition, the epidemic of obesity, plastic surgery, or the great size debate that has been bubbling up this runway season?
It was hard to tell, and that is part of her brilliance.
-- Booth Moore, reporting from Paris
Photos: Comme des Garcons' fall 2010 runway in Paris. All credits: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times