Time was, the nostalgists say, when a man wasn't a man without a hat. Jean Paul Gaultier sent the majority of his models out today in Sam Spade fedoras. A return to gentlemanly classicism? Don't bet on it. Beneath those hats was anything and just about everything but what a forties fellow would recognize as his own—the everything part making the show a dizzying pile-on of stuff. Some of it, like the fur-collared coats and high-neck knits, were pretty sharp. Some of it was not. (In its comprehensiveness, the show even managed to feature a few allover brick prints that were, in fact, the second brick prints of the season. What are the odds?)

Looks careened from tattoo-print knits to hooded sweatshirt vests. Man-woman mashups gave some of the old JPG flavor: There were long kulats that looked half sarong-half pant, long floor-sweeping skirts, and suits overlaid with matching kilts. In an effort to cram even more on more, many models had extra jackets and tops tied around their waists. As they swept past, the wide circumference of their silhouette resembled an elegant ball gown. Somehow that brought you back to those unifying symbols, those man's man hats. And then at the finale, Gaultier tipped his, and the whole cast tossed theirs into the crowd. So much for that.