Paris Fashion Week A/W 2008-9: Jean-Paul Gaultier
Talk about making impressions: while PETA seethes, Jean Paul Gaultier bares teeth. Ever one to create a talking point, Gaultier moves from fish (Marion Cotillard's Oscar dress) to fur in his A/W collection for Paris Fashion Week.
Striding to a rather alarming mix of bleats and beats (a remix of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' with animal calls), the models were decked out in a savage array of stuffed animal details and skins. Heads were placed on heads, tails hung from hips, and whole fox pelts were strewn across long trains as Gaultier threw the gauntlet down at animal welfare groups.
Yet Gaultier's clear courting of controversy detracts from his notable fur-free creations, such as his striking lime red carpet-worthy crossover gown, and his billowing cape-and-scaled-dress ensemble in luscious burgundy. The ethereal quality of some of his floatier pieces (in chiffons and silks) belie the visceral nature of the styling.
There was a clear, dark sepia palette, echoing the moody organicism of the tribal trend. Stripes were de rigeur, with tiger and zebra prints featuring on trench coats, dresses, shirts and jackets. Just a few cute, flowing smocks bucked the brown spectrum in darker, duskier shades of the primary colours. Matching tights, gloves and metallic T-bars create a striking effect that can easily be recreated in the real world.
The show finished with a recording of manical laughter, which pretty much sums up the Gaultier's attitude: the designer can now sit back and laugh at the storm he's cooked up (although we'll see whether he'll be laughing for long as PETA seeks vengeance)...