Ever the showman, Jean Paul Gaultier presented a couture collection in Paris yesterday that was fit for a Las Vegas cabaret. While we’ve come to expect controversy and, at times, downright bizarreness from the creator of Madonna’s cone bra, this particular collection was lighter, more feminine, more glamorous, and more easily digestible than his previous ones.
This season, Gaultier’s girls were butterflies.
The theme of the presentation was clear from the start; this season, Gaultier’s girls were butterflies. Apart from this specific thread running through the collection, it essentially lacked cohesion. For the first half of the show, this was discretely (not a word usually associated with this designer) implied through jutting sleeves on silk organza blouses, pinched waists, layered lapels made to resemble butterfly wings, cape-like details on shirts, and delicate butterfly fascinators. Halfway through the collection, Gaultier let loose as Gaultier does best, embarking in the theatricality he is known for. At this point, the butterfly references became less subtle, with burlesque ensembles covered in 3-D organza butterflies or dresses that were essentially wings. To top it all off, the designer enlisted the help of the Queen of Burlesque, the porcelain-skinned Dita Von Teese. Dark smoky eyes, studded jeans gilets, and strips of leather here and there added an edge to an otherwise saccharine-sweet theme.
By night, his butterflies may have morphed into beautiful showgirls, but Jean Paul Gaultier stayed true to himself this season by see-sawing back and forth between theatrical glamour and rock ‘n’ roll.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway