2009 March 9
(PARIS) Jean Paul Gaultier
Those who complained about being committed to a fashion show on a Saturday night certainly pulled back their moans after witnessing the Gaultier show. He gave his supporters their money’s worth with a show full of experiences that played out like a fashion melodrama. The spectacle encompassed everything from protestors to mud wrestling to cash kissing on the runway to parades with roses. It all ended in a thunderous applause, of course, and not just because Gaultier followers came to see a variety show; the actual collection was one of the designer’s strongest modern efforts. His inspiration was certainly very centered: Gaultier placed a selection of photos backstage that encompassed some kinky bondage references. But the chiffon standouts, asymmetrical trenches, and a fair selection of furs all stood out on their own. The leatherwork was Gaultier at his best, and his mid-length black dresses looked rich and dangerous.
It’s not fair to compare couture efforts to ready-to-wear, but in the case of Christian Lacroix, the two are usually inseparable. The spirit, sheer opulence, and glorious accessories of the two collections are usually mutual--at least, until this season. Lacroix moved to a smaller venue to deal with harsh times, but there was a certain magical spark missing in his ready-to-wear collection. The usually impressive accessories were still present, but the lace dresses seemed more muted and timid. And there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect between the noir and the watercolor prints. On the far stronger side, the skirts were flowing and beautiful, and the jackets looked regal and attractive.
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