OMG, Kiss just walked in! First time ever at a fashion show. No, wait. It's just looky-likeys. That's not Gene. Or Paul. And that other guy's ass is way too big.

Anyway, ersatz Kiss still caused a frisson when they parked their ample behinds in the front row of the Gaultier show today, letting the world know that what was about to follow wasn't going to be run of the mill. "An homage to all the pop stars of the eighties," proclaimed the show notes and, given that Gaultier dressed the pop queen of them all in her finest hour, expectations ran about as high as they've run for a Gaultier show in a good decade or so. Did he disappoint? Um, the show was a fabulous cabaret; the clothes were, in many cases, an impressively accurate redaction of the style of the original performers. But the relevance for now? Well, given that no one in their right mind is going to step out into the street in a one-leg Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit or a little sheer something from the Blonde Ambition tour, the fancy-dress element was a little marginalizing.

Gaultier's tribute to the eighties opened with Grace Jones, stepping straight off the Nightclubbing album cover in variations of the designer's tuxedo looks. Then came Hannelore Knuts as Annie Lennox in her "Sweet Dreams" incarnation, or, in actuality, a pinstriped Gaultier pantsuit. Next, Madonna, and that iconic cone bra attached to a black pencil skirt. So far, so true to Gaultier's own design sensibility. But when Karlie Kloss stepped out as Boy George, a meta disconnect kicked in and the show never really recovered as a coherent fashion statement. It continued to thrive, however, as an entertainment.

There were some gorgeous and witty pieces—the Orientalism of a pleated A-line bustier gown, the trompe l'oeil printed denims, the black raffia sheath—but the fashion was subsumed by the concept. It peaked—or troughed—with the ABBA bit. Within seconds, Karlie Kloss was trolling the catwalk in a barely-there metallic blue outfit that unwittingly conveyed the notion of things falling apart. The Euro-disco legend Amanda Lear was the vedette of the finale. Her appearance thrilled the locals but left everyone else vaguely perplexed. In a way, a perfect metaphor for the collection: the familiar and the incomprehensible, meeting but not matching.