Saturday 24 March 2018

Do you feel fashionable, punk?

Jean-Paul Gaultier at Paris spring summer 2011 haute couture week
Jean-Paul Gaultier at Paris spring summer 2011 haute couture week


It was haute couture, old-school. Except for the Mohawks.

At Jean Paul Gaultier's spring-summer couture show yesterday, a disembodied voice reading out the name, number and a description of each outfit replaced the booming soundtracks common to today's fashion shows.

The models held their numbers in their hands as they walked, and the audience clapped politely in appreciation for the looks they liked.

This was couture as it was done a half century ago, when the displays were held in the intimate salons of Paris fashion houses. Only then, the models probably wouldn't have been accessorised with rhinestone-encrusted dog collars or sporting towering Mohawk haircuts.

Gaultier infused the sophisticated Parisian styles he does best with a stiff dose of 70s punk, flawlessly blending two aesthetics one would think are allergic to each another.

Called 'I Am an Anarchist', look number 31 was a single-sleeved trench coat dress in shocking pink, while number 36, 'Stinky Toys' layered a ruby crystal-covered leather jacket over a pleated black evening number.

Besides their elegantly calligraphic numbers, the models carried round handbags that resembled cannonballs suspended from little leather straps, and wore studded cuffs and collars.

The collection was Gaultier at his best: The skirt suits and clingy column dresses were debonair and glamorous, with the obligatory dose of subversive sexiness -- the calling card of the man who gave the world Madonna's pointy cone bra.

And because a Gaultier show wouldn't be complete without a blowout finale, the show ended with a high-kicking number by a cancan dancer, her white tulle-covered bustier dress lined with photo-printed legs. A showstopper -- just like the designer himself.

Irish Independent

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