I have always been a fan of Jean Paul Gaultier’s work.
For two very simple reasons. Firstly he doesn’t fail to entertain and amuse and secondly considering all the barriers he has shattered in fashion starting from his global tribal looks in the early 90’s when everyone was still doing talliers and minimalism, to his work for Hermes and the truly adventurous way in which he has taken the concept of androgyny to new levels. He still doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
In a business such as fashion where most people hardly have a sense of humour especially when it comes to their own work that is an accomplishment in itself.
And if you can’t have fun at what you do what good is it?
Fashion editors amongst all seem to be the least simpatico of the whole fashion bunch…next to a few other designers that shall remain unmentioned… So it seems a propose that the perennial scoundrel of fashion delights in keeping them huffing and puffing before his presentations. Oh the room is too hot, oh the champagne wasn’t cold enough, and oh we waited too long. I bet however if you were to ask the man or woman on the streets of Paris which designer they like best, the name you would hear most often is his. Jean Paul is a populist; deal with it you elitist snobs of the so called fashion press core. I mean what is that you do for a living exactly that the average person with a gram of intellect and bare knowledge of language cannot do?
Having said that there was a time when a couture show was an intimate event, one that was exclusive in nature, reserved, succinct and for all cause and effect a rarefied showing of the best the Maison had to offer. The rules were rather strict. Most everything was done by hand, the craft and the process were painful, difficult, arduous and classically referred as the ultimate expression of fashion as art.
Now it is hard in most cases to differentiate a couture show from a ready to wear show, especially when it comes to the larger fashion houses. You have to admire Tisci for sticking to his less than 12 looks when it comes to Couture. He gets it.
Back to Jean Paul… If you want to be entertained and amused since a show is a show is entertainment after all, you are better served to go see one of his shows as opposed to any one else’s. For this collection call it androgyny couture if you must. He pulled out all the stops. He is one of the true tailoring virtuosos left in the business, that and his sense of showmanship made for a bang of a collection with a plenitude of creations both for men and women that revisited familiar grounds for the designer. Androgyny, dandy-ism, Le Jazz deluxe, S&M, eastern ethnic references, they all played a part in a glamorous spectacle that felt very French, eclectic and just downright fun.
Yes it could have been edited a bit, but to whose benefit I wonder, the fashion editors suffering under the pressure of having their dinner reservations moved forward an extra half an hour?
Last year Jean Paul Gaultier severed ties with Hermes who sold their interests in JPG to Puig, a Spanish perfume house eager to gain a higher prominence on the World stage. I think that Jean Paul has flourishing creatively in the transition. For his fan base he still remains one of the true artists left in fashion and one that manages to laugh at life in spite of everything else…the only people with a sour taste in their mouth after his show last night were those insufferable fashion critics out there the ones with that air of elitism and snobbery which at this day and age is truly passé…and when was the last time they actually spent money to buy anything?
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