Gaultier Does Deconstructed Art Deco For Couture AW12Posted by Styloko
If there’s one thing in haute couture we can be certain of, it’s that Jean Paul Gaultier’s show will be the most sexy, most risqué, and most controversial. And whether he delivers the good, the bad or the ugly (trust us, it’s happened), one can always guarantee a JPG couture show will be worth its money in terms of entertainment.
Due to Monsieur Gaultier’s ingenious ideas and avant garde approach to couture, we’re often left with collections that are far too complex for us mere mortals to understand. But when he gets it just right, as he has in this case, the result is a wonderful kind of theatre: a perfect amalgamation of glamour, sophistication, sex and wit.
For AW12, Gaultier focused on the deconstruction of classic tailoring, with references to some of the most iconic silhouettes of our time, including Dior’s Bar jacket and Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking suit. Erin O’Connor, who opened the show in a modernist female version of a tail coat, complete with a top hat and cravat, set the tone for the rest of the collection – one that would consequently turn out to be one of Gaultier’s most disciplined to date.
Gaultier went on to explore the Art Deco era, taking inspiration directly from twenties-style flapper dresses as well as Art Deco motifs, which appeared in meticulously beaded embellishments and embedded in custom-made textiles. The colour palette was a rich combination of gold, mustard and violet; black was used as a base colour on which Gaultier experimented with textures – from luxurious velvet to sheer chiffon to more exotic alligator and fur – as well as to instill a sense of formality.
The designer seems to have held back on the overt opulence and toned down the bondage element this time. But he did manage to retain the usual homage to the brand’s iconic corset – for AW12, in the form of gold metal strips and leather skeleton constructions worn over classic tailoring.
The show, which was remarkably restrained and much less indulgent than usual, concluded with a few spectacular crystal-encrusted body con gowns reminiscent of the most intricate acrobat costumes, and a beautiful bridal gown that took, again, from a back-to-front tux. But we couldn’t help asking: is he still scarred from the scandal his couture show caused last time? Whatever it is, we’re looking forward to seeing him back on fierce form next time.
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