For one mad moment, a low-necked tank in a sailor stripe signaled Querelle of Brest rather than the dapper gent of means whom Ozwald Boateng usually courts with his clothes. And even though this Givenchy collection didn't turn out to be quite that revolutionary in the end, Boateng did cut loose a little. It wasn't just those sailor stripes. The designer was toying with Givenchy's classic bourgeois heritage, spicing it up with a sprinkle of tasty crassness. So there was a sheer polo shirt, and an old gold leather bomber with matching tie, and some trompe l'oeil byplay with layered tops. And how about a broad-shouldered tux in mint green?

Boateng didn't put all his eggs in such a tricky basket, however. He also offered navy-striped suits, a seersucker ensemble, and a chambray jacket with jeans, any of which would pass muster at a smart-casual BCBG affair in Paris. But the solo fingerpoppin' strut with which the designer always signs off suggested his true allegiance lies with the show-off.