Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture SS 2011

British punk meets Paris cancan

Jean Paul Gaultier took mohawks, studs, and leather jackets, married them with the girls of the Moulin Rouge, and came out with a defining triumph, soaring from grimmy guttersnipe-style to a French level of sophistication which makes the rest of the world spit.

Narrative fashion shows can be annoying these days, especially when one's considering a designer like Gaultier, with a past that wends back the eighties. But this time, his revisitings of sailor stripes - brilliant horizontal organza ruffles on Lindsey Wixson - and corsetry, now merged into both a tailcoat jacket and a cancan costume, somehow seemed simpler, more relevant, and full of energy.

A huge moment of that confidence must come from the fact that it was Gaultier who ws a pioneer in the field - by thirty years - of diversity on the runway. Now that punk (springs's discovery), and the drive toward inclusive model casting have both risen to the top of the agenda, Gaultier must be laughing, for he was doing all that a generation ago. More vitally, his women - proud, strong-nosed, ethnically diverse, from any subculture, and of any age - have always been there. That they look so exceptionally chic and grown-up today in their towering, feathered mohawks is a kind of completion for Gaultier. 

Ever the witty quipper, he skipped out at the end with Farida Khelfa, one of his original models, a mohawk taped to his pate. He looked really happy.

Jena Paul Gaultier Haute Couture SS 2011

Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

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