The vocabulary of Jean Paul Gaultier's menswear is now practically engraved in stone. You can bet you'll find nautical stripes, sailor sweaters, and plenty of trompe l'oeil dandy detailing, including trousers full enough to do double duty as skirts. And, of course, there are always skirts themselves (even if they're labeled "kilts"). Thus it was with fall '05. This time, the skirt was box-pleated, over narrow trousers, with a double-breasted, cropped trench-cum-shirt tucked into a double waistband. Unfortunately, a look like that just doesn't have the zip it once had. But then, that's not where the charms of this collection lay.

Gaultier is a graphic genius, and he echoed the masterful African-inspired haute couture he showed last week in cotton tops woven with masklike faces, and intarsia African/Deco-patterned knitwear. The brown/black color scheme was mostly unchanged too. Artist Sonia Delaunay's constructivist color blocks influenced the patterning of a few sweaters (some with those signature nautical stripes on the back). The tucked-in, jacket-styled shirt was something of a motif in the collection. It looked a little tense next to the ease of a boxy forties-style suit with full pleated and cuffed trousers. On the other hand, fans of Gaultier's appetite for fashion fetishism won't be disappointed by a long, lean pleather jacket and a black rubber trench.