Alexander McQueen bravely set his show to the X-Ray Spec's punk ballad "I'm a cliché?"—then set out to refute the message by appropriating styling tricks absorbed from a new school of designers. His first look—a man-size jacket in army green worn with a white shirt, narrow golden clip-on tie and a white shirt and hose—defined the new '80s proportions that are establishing themselves so forcefully this season. '80s, too, were the clever twist jersey mini dresses (think early Versace), and the gold lamé wood-grain brocades, used for sharply cut short-waisted jackets and slim-leg pants worn with sleeveless leather tops (Alexis Carrington goes clubbing). A Gothic punky attitude coursed through the show, reinforced through the somber palette of army green, black and purple.

As he reinforced with his own name-collection, McQueen is a visionary talent. So it was a pity that this production had the formulaic look of a stylist-led collection, with classic staples tricked up with styling details—like trousers bloused into ankle boots, and jackets cinched at waist or hip with invisibly fastening wide patent belts and Kraftwerk-narrow ties worn with men's shirts. Flashes of McQueen's real talents shone through in the punk-slashed tartan top over a prune patent mini, those twist dresses and a black-and-purple banded leather mini-dress, the bands fastening in back like bondage belts.

More exhilarating still was McQueen's bow—he coursed the considerable length of the runway (a beautiful curving corridor in the Musée du Cinema, currently under renovation) on a speeding scooter.