As always, Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture shows are not only a celebration of fashion, but an ode to those who make fashion what it is, who constantly reinvent the stuff fashion dreams are made of.
This time was no different: Gaultier’s Spring/Summer 2016 Haute Couture offering paid a tribute to the designer’s extravagant friends, his mesmerizing muses, the night owls, and the beautiful souls he met ever since he was old enough to order a drink at Le Palace – Paris’ go-to disco in the late 70s and 80s. A tribute to all the women that have had a great impact on the designer’s work, who contributed in establishing and nurturing the Jean Paul Gaultier-mania.
Farida, Eva, Djemila, Fredo, Marie, Paquita, and many others have all inspired Gaultier throughout his career and their unique styles left an impression on the designer’s latest collection. In fact, the influence of Gaultier’s many muses goes way beyond the runway. These women have had a considerable impact on femininity, how we express it, and how we perceive it – long before the term “it-girl” took its toll on the fashion industry.
Speaking of it-girls: some were sitting front row as usual, enthused by Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Le Palace” themed Spring/Summer 2016 offering, which was unfurled at his headquarters in Paris. “It was fantastic,” gushed Jeanne Damas after the show’s finale. And it was indeed fantastic: Gaultier’s sensual and playful take on Haute Couture proved that he was at his best.
Evening numbers like a gold-embroidered Safari dress and an organza kimono dress worn with a corsage crafted from leather and crystals had red carpet potential, as well as an asymmetric tricolored dress with hand-embroidered sequins which was particularly outstanding. But the clothes were not the only worth watching: the models were too – a special thought goes to Anna Cleveland for her theatre worthy runway performance.
Cleveland and her peers were all channeling the spirit of Le Palace through both their clothes and attitude – a sophisticated and sensual girls-just-want-to-have-fun type of moment. And they were above all paying a tribute to the defunct Edwige Belmore, Le Palace’s First Lady, known as Paris’ Queen of Punk – an it-girl before her time, an androgynous beauty with a rebel heart, a model, muse, New Wave artist (Mathématiques Modernes) for whom Le Palace was a second home. One thing is certain: Jean Paul Gaultier does not only know how to stage a show like no other, he actually also knows how to revive an emotion, how to keep it and sublimate it – how to bring precious memories of the past into the catwalk present.