Jean Paul Gaultier has only been a couturier since 1998, which is but a preface in this marathon-not-a-sprint metier. In that time, however, he has brought the joy and showmanship of his vision to an otherwise doily and cucumber sandwich world. Once the enfant terrible, he can't shake that feeling – Gaultier loves a theme and his defilés are exactly what someone who doesn't work in the industry would imagine every day to be like. Fabulous, absolutely.
This season, champagne in hand, the designer took us on a trip to India, something we preempted from the font and warm paprika colour of his invite. Usually attendees at a fashion show are seated in blocks of straightforward grouping: block A, block B, block C and such. Today, Gaultier sat us in the dal section, though there was tikka masala and vindaloo too. Presumably a wink at his hottest customers.
As with Chanel, there was a great deal of tribute dressing in situ. Gaultier Paris clients really rock looks, from huge voluminous parkas with massive fur hoods to prussian blue wool coats embellished with crystal flowers sprouting teardrop pearls. Everything about these clothes is major and for all the wit, what you don't see online is the finesse. Gaultier cuts a great le smoking or trench, his clothes having the attitude and ease of the street rather than the salon.
Speaking of immaculate collections, Jean Paul made a nod to his most iconic look, Madonna's cone bra, in this show of gyspy silhouettes with sari wrapping and micro pleats. With La Deneuve and Amanda Lear front row, Lindsey Wixson and Andre Pejic were amongst the faces stomping the elevated runway, Jean Paul's bride Marie Meyer making the biggest impression by lifting her massive crinoline skirt to reveal four children, who ran out from underneath. A standing ovation occurred as she bounded the runway after them, with security urging people to sit back down.
That didn't happen of course – toeing the line isn't very Gaultier.