Paris Haute Couture: Jean Paul Gaultier Autumn/Winter 2008 collection
20 years with his own brand hasn’t blunted his talent, in fact at 55 you would have to say that Jean Paul Gaultier is no longer a "enfant terrible" of French fashion. His haute couture collection played out like a kingdom long lost to today’s world. One where each person would have a role, be it the jet setting women, the women who attend the most luxurious functions, and the entertainers, service people and queen’s who rule them.
In a collection that was inspired by princes of Europe and India, this was one collection where the loose shape of mens wear was draped and tucked for a woman’s body. Double breasted jackets with stiff shoulders were paired with loose man style pants and a large fur, while military style coats were paired with slim cut green pants and trimmed with fur.
The shoulders were also the focus in his dresses, stiff or capped, one would not have been surprised to see a few stars sewn on to show the models rank. Sleeves and skirts were slashed for just a hint of skin or ruffled to create shape and sharpen the focus to create the illusion of shape.
The Indian influences shone through in the draping of the dresses and the bright colour choices and careful embellishments in the pieces that harked back to the days where a kings court (or queen) was full of people who entertained and waited on you hand and foot. Perhaps these pieces were the least wearable, but just think of the amount of imagination it would have required just to dream up an outfit like this with all the bells and whistles. Not to mention the sheet talent of those who constructed them.
P.S. Remember a time in fashion where everyone wore a hat or a crown? Well it looks like they still do at the house of Gaultier, with the Frenchman sending down almost all his models in miniature crowns woven from hair and fabrics.
[Pictures from Getty/Catwalking]