Flowers? Nature? The French countryside? We were not sure of the inspiration behind Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest collection upon arriving to his headquarters Rue Saint Martin. Unfortunately, neither was the designer, or so it seemed. Against a backdrop of white curtains, wheat fields prints and a sun-like light, he started the show with… a series of black two-piece suits. While it is true that suits are Gaultier’s forte (nobody can cut a structured jacket and make it look as effortless and modern as the French designer), they were not really in tune with the cheery country music and the show décor.
Things evolved as he started merging them with corsets (a black smoking trouser worn with a lace undershirt and a powder pink bustier felt particularly Gaultier, and chic in its simplicity), then with tiki flower prints. It was there that we finally met with the playful Jean Paul Gaultier we know and love. Looks with names such as 'Beach Better Have My Monoï' toyed with retro Hawaiian camp in the form of strass bikini tops, printed sarongs and frilled organza boleros so artfully executed they looked like mink. Sadly, the tiki theme didn’t last long and was replaced by marinière stripes, intricate brocades and long chiffon dresses with poppy and sunflower prints that didn’t do justice to the French maison. The (suddenly) French countryside theme was further developed with a chiffon minidress embroidered in gold-thread wheat motifs and with the finale, in which a blonde Coco Rocha dressed as a fairy bride danced on a swing and staged a wedding with a denim overall-clad country boy. It was fun and naïve and an escapist antidote to the real world. Sometimes, that’s all you can ask from a fashion show.