"Okay. Go knock yourself out," said one of the bouncers at the Palladium, the mid-'80s version of Studio 54 that attracts thousands each night to 14th Street in New York. In the days of Studio 54, being outrageous meant wearing a mini or cowboy boots. This round, anything goes.

Most of the crowd had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to dress up for the evening -- preppies in prom dresses and polo shirts, punks in pointed bras and pegged pants, others in Harry Truman shirts, "Amadeus" blouses, linen and lace. Norma Kamali, Betsey Johnson and Salvation Army are favorite labels. The invitation to the party Tuesday night in the Michael Todd room read black tie, and there were at least a handful of those as well.

But the Todd room, with its framed broken mirrors; the downstairs, with its Day-Glo art and neon fake fur; the dance floor, with its gigantic volleyball balloons and remarkable light show; and the stairway, with glass bricks and high-tech trim, means every fantasy and get-up fit in. If they get in.

Even if they don't, it is an extraordinary costume party on the street outside the club. Not like anything in Washington, in part because of the number of people. Worth a look.