Jean Paul Gaultier presents more brainteaser couture
Winston Churchill famously defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, inside an enigma.” Which is not a bad way to define the latest couture show by Jean Paul Gaultier staged Wednesday in Paris.
So beautifully bizarre was the blend of haute gamme bling; femme fatale chic; polished freakiness and outrageous cutting at Gaultier Paris, his name for his couture collection.
Gaultier used to be the enfant terrible of French fashion, the bad boy of the Paris runway. Now he is more like a local institution, whose fashion pyro techniques always impress.
Nearly every designer owes something to Gaultier, and scores of them have come to pay homage to Jean-Paul at his shows over the years. Today it was the turn of the great Alber Elbaz who sat front row alongside another French icon – Catherine Deneuve.
They both witnessed a vintage collection, winning applause from the opening look – a marvelous down ensemble, including a padded golden floral veil, Roman purple mini cocktail dress and enormous matelassé czarina’s crown. Hard to forget the grandiose yet glamorous mustard hued double-face cashmere coat with fighter plane sized wings worthy of Greta Garbo. Huge cheers then greeted an elongated version of the same coat in leopard print. Similar roars for a stunning Verner Panton style print used in down caban and ski-pants combo.
The great mystery with Gaultier is that when so many other designers succumb to the inevitable curse of repeating themselves, he keeps on whipping up fresh, technically daring concoctions. Like the extraordinary peak lapel tuxedo made of a series of giant accordion pleats, miraculously cinched at the waist.
Before a finale of a blushing bride inside a giant see-through tulle cylinder, so transparent she had to cover her breasts with her hands. A comment on France’s never-ending obsession with banning or accepting various variations of the veil. And a visually stunning manner to climax a brain teaser of collection from the eternally youthful Jean-Paul. Who despite his 67 years, still runs down his 60-meter catwalk in his 3rd arrondissement headquarters when he takes his applause.
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