Jean Paul Gaultier did what he did best yesterday, self-referencing his treble-decade long career by turning out a collection rife with crowd-pleasing favorites. Sharp pinstripe suiting reworked into a myriad of different cuts (shorts, wide leg and so on and so forth), deconstructed mens’ shirts juxtaposed with his signature lingerie motifs, trenches galore and even a marked return to his legendary tattoo prints.
What did not go down so well, however, was Gaultier’s production. In the sweltering Parisian heat, the fash pack has begrudingly trudged from show to show glistening with a certain “natural” glow, and we all know that no fashionista likes to radiate biologically, that’s what Chanel shimmer powder is for. But Gaultier, perhaps in a bid to remind us that with Galliano gone, he is one of the biggest honchos about town, especially where conceptual couture is concerned, and so drove the point home by staging his show a la salon circa 1952. Bereft of a soundtrack, models walked holding numbered cards (for Madame to place her personal orders) to the tune of a narration in French and English. So while editors and buyers alike were pleased with a quintessentially Gaultier collection, being lectured at in 30+ degree heat in a sweltering sauna of a tent is no fun for anyone. It’s Spring/Summer 2012, let the clothes speak for themselves.