Jean Paul Gaultier, the Frenchest French designer there is, conjured visions of New York on his Fall runway. There was a Silver Factory foil paper backdrop, and the Velvet Underground and Nico played on the speakers. The caution yellow invitation was tagged graffiti-style in black and red, and giant spray-paint bubble letters decorated many of the pieces. Other looks came in a multicolor surreal print that included vintage car grilles, license plates, and street signs that spelled out "Gaultier."

It wasn't his most subtle work ever, but it was only one of the directions he took. Gaultier reworked the trench one more time, coming up with twofer constructions that in one case turned a hem into a second set of sleeves and collar, and in another turned the coat itself simultaneously into a skirt. The furs—intarsias of different colors and dissimilar lengths—were the freshest things on the runway. Overall, though, this collection felt a little rootless.