What makes Jean Paul Gaultier's couture remarkable, beyond the skill and grandeur of the garments, is the designer's self-referential nature. In each collection, no matter the declared inspiration, there is always an inherent undertone of Gaultier's past making it hard to go unnoticed. The gothic ballerina was an underlying theme in both the mens and womenswear, with plush feathers, black tulle, and mildly balletic footwear, but the inspiration ended there as it was not the Black Swan we were seeing. Pair the timeless ballet Firebird with Regency-era menswear and you'll find yourself staring at Gaultier's Fall couture presentation.
His celebrated stint at Hermes left a trail of equestrian through the collection but the silhouettes were Gaultier through and through. The womenswear looked like menswear and the menswear looked like womenswear, but any Gaultier fan could have anticipated as much. After all, if a designer is going to put a man in a sequined deep-v top and see-through trousers, it's going to be Gaultier.
While eveningwear may get the credit for being the reason why we all love couture, looks such as the dandy-esque capes and satin tailcoats are what couture dreams are made of. There is no doubt that those who can actually afford couture, the lucky few, will be flocking to Gaultier for this season’s outstanding outerwear and separates.
Photos: Vincenzo Grillo, IMAXtree