The designer’s exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City placed the designer in a retrospective state of mind for the Jean Paul Gaultier Pre-Fall 2014 collection. With a collection that retraces familiar territory, Gaultier’s legacy of tempting, titillating fashion comes through quite strongly. For instance, his famous leather bras as reworked into more modern shapes and outfitted over classic white button-ups and slouchy chiffon shirts.

For all his looking back, Gaultier’s strengths this season lie in his interpretation of modern menswear and his darkly glamorous toppers. Fitted trench coats with voluminous silhouettes, bulky printed jackets, and fur-collared parkas are among some of his best looks. Meanwhile, two-tone long-sleeve shirts, silk varsity jackets, and leather-topped track pants demonstrate that Gaultier is paying attention to the rise in American sportswear style. In looking back, a designer regains a sense of where he’s come from, and is granted a measure of wisdom regarding his future. With serene sophistication and a penchant for tailored menswear, Gaultier walks into Pre-Fall 2014 with his best foot forward.