Jean Paul Gaultier considers nothing to be outside of the realm of fashion, and for Fall 2015 Couture his schizophrenic interests were on full display, running the gamut from cutesy sailor suits to bewildering and elaborate gowns patchworked from carved animal skins. What it lacked in cohesion it made up for in theatre, as the event included not only a dizzying runway show, but also a full Breton orchestra on bagpipes and a crêpe stand dishing out treats to attendees. Gaultier’s shows are often compared to a circus and, with a bizarre and intriguing arrangement of clothes as the central spectacle, the comparison is apt.
The French region of Brittany influenced the seaside feel of the opening half, as marinière striped tights and blouses were paired with inventive Celtic circle skirts, velvet pinafores, and bold outerwear. The simpler takes on sailor suiting worked better than the more elaborately structured versions, which featured peplum layers and patchworked metallic fabrics. A madcap Victorian romp accompanied following looks, among which a drawstring crinoline maxi and smooth wool dress with wide sleeves and a circle skirt were the most wearable and wonderful. A velvet scholar’s robe and Bowie-esque glittering pant suit were followed by anti-authoritarian punk girls crowned with towering headpieces. Black/gold suiting and outerwear felt overwrought when it came to styling, but on their own provided eye-catching options for the bold fashionista. For the closing act, Gaultier went completely overboard with the kind of looks that utterly defy description. One featured a black-and-gold showgirl dress with an enormous circle skirt trimmed with peacock feathers, while another, to put it kindly, resembled the floor of a tanner shop, strewn with animal pelts in various stages of preparation. Although Gaultier’s brilliance as a veteran couture designer is not to be argued with, this kind of “campy for campy’s sake” stunts have more than run their course at this point in his career.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree