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May 26, 2021
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Jean Paul Gaultier to return to RTW with a marine collab collection with five designers

May 26, 2021

Not even a year and a half after Jean Paul Gaultier bid farewell to the catwalks, the house he founded will relaunch into ready-to-wear with a collab collection with five designers including Ottolinger and Palomo Spain.

Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier

In effect, the collection marks the first return to RTW by the house since 2015, when the brand closed down its prêt-a-porter collection after it was acquired by Puig, the Catalan clan that also controls Carolina Herrera, Dries Van Noten, Paco Rabanne and Nina Ricci.
The collection - planned as a series of summer drops - is also intended as a tribute to the diverse communities that have inspired the house since its creation, and will be released in time for LGBTQI+ Pride Month.

Collectively, the designs pay homage to Querelle, the 1982 movie that was Rainer  Werner Fassbinder’s final film based on the Jean Genet novel, an explosively dark tale of rivalry, murder and sexuality set inside a sailor’s brother in the port of Brest. Hence one key theme:  the designer’s favorite look – a French striped Marinère sweater.

In what the house termed “a desire to embody the values of freedom, acceptance and unscrupulous creativity,” it selected Nix Lecourt Mansion, Ottolinger, Palomo Spain, Alan Crocetti and Marvin M'Toumo to each produce a silhouette or accessory range they felt represents the genius of Gaultier.
Lecourt Mansion’s concept is a black rhinestone mesh bodysuit with form-exalting stripes, while Palomo Spain designed a unique floral corset. Ottolinger created distorted zebra zigzag bodystockings; Alan Crocetti a conical bra-shaped jewellery and Marvin M’Toumo “shell and crustacean” accessories.
The riffs on the Marinière in six versions including a classic oversized version and numerous reinterpretations.

Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier

“Torn, distorted, distressed and transcended, the sailor-boy stripes take on a salacious, hypersexualised connotation for 2021,” the house stressed in a release.
Multiple aspects of Gaultier culture have been revamped – from his iconic US Navy sailor’s cap, now emblazoned with his signature, to the super short dresses with flap collars based on classic sailor uniforms and a saucy naval officer’s bikini; all the way to mermaid rings and gold-chain compass necklaces. Plus the collection boasts multiple takes on denim sailor’s trousers, even unbuttoned to show the bottom. While the summer drops will also include vintage elements, part of an emphasis on upcycling.
Throughout his career Gaultier led the movement in favour of deconstructing gender binaries, a position maintained since his retirement. His online shop does not display gendered categories, with each look modelled on men and women.

Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul staged his final couture show in January 2020. Though, this July, the house has invited Chitose Abe of Sacai to present the first of a series of couture collections by guest deisgners for the marque.
Jean Paul’s political stance is carried on in this return to ready-to-wear, as the house requested two designers, Roxanne Maillet and Marie-Mam Sai Bellier, to design  a T-shirt stamped with both masculine and feminine forms of the designer’s name. It reads Jean-ne Paul-e Gaultier-e.
This new ready-to-wear collection begins retailing this Friday, May 28, on https://lesmarins.jeanpaulgaultier.com, and then at https://www.ssense.com/en-fr exclusively. Prices vary from €150 to €750, with 75 different SKU references.

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