The region of Brittany in France has been good to Jean Paul Gaultier. After all, its traditional Breton striped sailor sweater has become his brand's trademark, adorning everything from his perfume bottles to the poster for his fashion retrospective in Paris. So it was long overdue for a homage from the designer who had gotten so much inspiration from it.
And boy did Gaultier honor Brittany.
He started with crepes and cider, the region’s two most famous food and beverage staples, that he gave out to guests as they waited for the show to start. Once the show got underway, Gaultier took all the dress codes of Breton – the clogs, the nautical uniforms, the lace paneling, the impressively high lace headgear (crafted by Gaultier out of hair) and the traditional festival costumes – and gave them the haute couture treatment. Even the crepes, which were referenced in round flat circle skirts, made the cut.
Gaultier kept at his Breton theme until he had fifty looks to show on the catwalk. Clearly, stopping his ready to wear line has given the designer more time to enjoy sowing his wild haute couture oats. However, the collection could have done with a sharp edit so as not to water down his sartorial cider.
But that minor issue was all but forgotten when Anna Cleveland appeared in a masterpiece of a dress designed to look like a well-cooked crepe. As she worked the audience into a frenzy of delight, with her backup live band straight out of Brittany, her couture gown was the perfect representation Gaultier’s masterful design talents. Talents only equaled by his playful and infectious approach to fashion.
(Re)discover the Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture collection right here.