Jean Paul Gaultier is no stranger to spectacle, so it comes as little surprise that he would tap Austrian singer Conchita Wurst to close his Fall 2014 Couture show. His pop culture radar is on-point. The collection, however, is not.
Extravagant decorative elements were more luxurious and less radical than his spring offerings, which was a good thing. The message, although muddied at times with too much volume and too many references to old Madonna costumes, was theatrical, blood-soaked and a little gothic, but still made sense within the JPG blueprint. The best parts of the show were at the beginning, when things were kept to a simple noir palette and an accessible blend of separates and fall frocks. The harem/track pant hybrid doesn’t do the female figure many favors, and all of the shiny gold fringe, sheer skirts and stiff chain printed skirts were derivative of already forgotten streetwear trends. However, his eveningwear was alluring once stripped of excessive styling – built with nice, strong shoulders, sensual cutouts, and allover sequin beading. Wurst’s gothic-inspired gown was the most impressive look, and featured a healthy level of couture craftsmanship in the form of rich embroidery. Jean Paul Gaultier is an acquired taste, that is to be certain, as the designer has a tendency to be over-the-top. In the heyday of the 80s, this worked – but even Lady Gaga is trying her hand at Normcore now. This much excess in 2014 just feels contrived.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway