Perhaps leaving his post at Hermes made Jean Paul Gaultier feel like he should go more grown-up and less print heavy and colorful for his Fall 2011 collection, which featured a stunning parade of beautiful, wearably elegant pieces – and models in gray beehive wigs. Clearly Gaultier cannot do a show without his tongue-in-cheek humor.
French actress and comedian Valérie Lemercier opened the show with a towering mane and then, later in the runway show, in a striptease move she threw her scarf into the crowd, with the rest of the models following suit by shedding themselves of various pieces of clothing and accessories. Further, while most of the collection was made of classic trim leather jackets, tweed suits, fitted trousers, and silk blouses, there was plenty of youthful appeal in the jumpsuits and in the colorful prints that closed out the show.
Whether youthful or mature however, like many designers in New York, Gaultier seemed to be focused on outerwear this season, and not just because models were shedding themselves of their trenches as they made their way down the runway. In a unique twist, outerwear was done in mixed materials with Gaultier mixing leather with wool and even more notably, quilted leather with dramatic fur – if that’s not the epitome of humor done with sophistication, what is?
Photos: Vincenzo Grillo, IMAXtree.