"Let's glam!" said Jean Paul Gaultier backstage at his exuberant fall show. "David Bowie, thank you! T. Rex, thank you!" And to the glam-rock strains of that group's "20th Century Boy" and "Children of the Revolution," Gaultier sent out his raucous parade. In fact, fun and flashy as those silver sequined leggings, second-skin brocade pants, and faux monkey-fur epaulets may have been, the peacock glitter eye shadow and Bowie quiffs were largely styling tricks—a diversion from the elegant core of a collection filled with classically chic clothes.

Gaultier's savvy tailoring played with influences as diverse as turn-of-the-century military uniforms and constructivist graphics, and he scissored the hems of his coats into diamond points—a line repeated on his reworked duffel, trench, and chic black "tuxedo" coat-dress, wittily tied with a gentleman's fringed white silk evening scarf.

There seems no end to the mischief Gaultier can wreak with his flawless trenchcoats, and this season he provided the loveliest yet—their revers had morphed into layered Pierrot collars, in black, cocoa, or mushroom faille. Prettiness continued to bloom at night, with enchanting chiffon or tulle evening dresses bound up in ribbons, or spangled with a cosmos of sequins—very Ziggy Stardust.