It was just like old times: the antique cabaret that Jean Paul Gaultier could reclaim as his own; guest appearances by extravagant personalities of stage and screen; the opportunity for models to display facets of their personalities other than the ability to walk from one end of a catwalk to the other—put them all together and you found yourself in the midst of the kind of captivating spectacle that Gaultier used to be able to toss off in his sleep. Maybe it was moving away from that HQ on the rue Saint-Martin that re-triggered his Mr. Showbiz gene, but Gaultier staged something so irresistible that even Catherine Deneuve was clapping in time by the finale. And it was satisfyingly wicked, too: The sensational reconceptualization of Grease's "You're the One That I Want," with Coco Rocha playing the Travolta role, was a fabulously sly acknowledgment of the ambiguous roots of the original John 'n' Livie performance.

The invitation summoned us to dance with the stars, and a panel of judges, helmed by the fearsome Rossy de Palma, was parked center stage to pass judgment on the models as they pranced and danced. Gold stars to Rocha, obviously, and Hannelore Knuts—who managed a pretty fierce tango—and Karlie Kloss, whose elongated frame was heaven-sent for voguing. It was an entrancing notion that Gaultier might have had Step Up and its celluloid progeny in mind when he was creating his collection. There was certainly a much street-ier, more straightforward Gaultier on show than usual. But his street was all over the place. He opened with quiffed-up black-leathered biker molls, girls who were just plain bad from the get-go. Then he toyed with the dance hall (she wore a leather pencil skirt with a diagonal zip, lace top, sweater knotted around the neck, fishnets, beret). Then rap (Liu Wen in a red tracksuit) and Amy Winehouse. And Gaultier's trans-tux covered the he/she bases so effectively (fishnetted leg and all), it couldn't help but drag us back to the moment when he was The Man.