REVIEW | All I Want For Christmas: JPG

Il neige. That's the forecast for Jean Paul Gaultier's Autumn/Winter 2017 couture collection, one that brought the snow to sunny Paris in 30 or so degrees – and actually we didn't mind a dime.

"It's quite childish; it's a little fairy tale! I would have liked to have a snowman but we have a tornado of snow," said the designer backstage afterwards, himself engulfed by a tornado of press. "There are pullovers and they're trompe l'oeile – it's winter but it's sophisticated. The idea was that I wanted to mix winter but also with the sari, this idea of the sun and the exotic."


Jean Paul Gaulthier Couture - Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

And let's be honest, it's really only JPG who can somehow manage to make polar opposites – winter and summer – marry up. His reasoning was because, you know, people travel – just as ready-to-wear is having this same wake-up call, JPG is on it. It doesn't really matter what season it is because somewhere in the world people need clothes, they need, they want – they can buy – couture. And if you're going to, JPG is a sound investment.

Where elsewhere in the week collections and looks are heavy and suited only to one occasion in one's life (because surely you buy another for another?!), these had ease: you could wear them. You'd want to!

Velvet ski pants, yetti boots, feather topped Aran knits, and draped hoods and harem pants; there were knits and cover-ups and a sharp silhouette to go with: camel wraps in rib, orange beneath maroon pinstripe for a vibrant punch. Bobble hats, big shoulders, and belted waists; he made standard pieces special which, really, was always the point of couture. Because when you get into uber rich territory, it's the not knowing that counts. It's the label inside. It is the trompe l'oeil effect all over.

But of course we also love Jean Paul Gaultier for his verve and flamboyance. Everyone in the audience left with their own dose of JPG dandruff – aka the snow tornado that swelled into a little boy, of Christmas card depiction, wandering up the catwalk to reveal a winter cart which suddenly came alive with Coco Rocha cycling it down the catwalk.


Jean Paul Gaulthier Couture - Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

"For me, it's easier to do winter. I love it. The fabrics," continued JPG, once again pointing out that this was a collection for the woman who travelled. Essentially all of us, whether we have a couture budget or not. But those that do, do. "I have a lot of orders from the last collection, so much so that we were still finishing these clothes ten minutes before! We don't have enough people," he said. Which is nice to know. Also good to know: the couture business – one which is questioned every single season, every single season – is booming. When it comes to JPG, it's really not hard to see why. His shows make you smile. You sow a seed and that's all you really have to do. It'll blossom all by itself.

Meanwhile a special mention goes to the names for the pieces among this collection – all entirely in keeping with the Frozen meets summer vibe: Anna Winter, Coq Ring (OK, maybe not), Lady Gla Gla, Robe in Hood.