Nobody knows how to create a party on a catwalk quite like Jean Paul Gaultier. After irritating fashion tastemakers with an haute couture show in July that was over an hour and a half late, this bad boy of fashion made good. And he did it in pure Gaultier style. He turned to the pop stars of the 1980s who had such an indelible mark on both the designer and fashion to create a spring/summer collection that was a sartorial throwback in all the right ways.
This was a show of musical vignettes and musicians as muses. First, there was an ode to Grace Jones where Gaultier played with one of his favorite fashion staples - the tuxedo. Turning it into jumpsuits, sleeveless vests, and jackets with the sides scooped out to expose the hips.
Then in quick succession- with a swift cut in the music for each muse and back-up dancers recreating every singer’s iconic moves in the background- came models impersonating Annie Lennox, Madonna, Mylene Farmer, Boy George, Jane Birkin, Michael Jackson, Sade, Abba, and David Bowie. There was even a copycat Kiss tribute to the band sitting in the front row.
The high-energy show was so elaborate, so lighthearted, and so much fun, that the clothing being shown on the catwalk got swept up in the reverie. But for those who could focus on the fashion, there were quite a few ensembles that would be relevant for today’s customers. Standouts included the Palais Royal stain glass print pieces, the “Boy George” silk robe or dress, and the “Jane Birkin” trompe l’oeil denim designs that came covered with transparent sequins.
Yes, this show was pure entertainment, but it was grounded in the best of Gaultier’s savoir faire.
- Jessica Michault