Rousteing presents a unique Gaultier Couture exhibition in Paris | Entertainment News
By THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Editor
PARIS (AP) — An enfant terrible appeared Wednesday in a new guise as designer Olivier Rousteing of Balmain snapped a unique photo of a couture collection for the house of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Such was the excitement surrounding the event that roads were blocked and security stretched out for 100 yards, entangling traffic in all directions. The show was in late fashion. It may have something to do with Kim Kardashian. She arrived late with daughter North West in outfits referencing Madonna and Gaultier’s 1992 heyday, who sat front row sipping champagne and laughing most of the way.
Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2022 couture collections:
Picking up on Gaultier’s codes – such as structured tailoring, Breton-striped sailor tops and the conical bra – Rousteing let her hair down on Wednesday for an infectious and tongue-in-cheek tribute to Jean Paul Gaultier, who retired from the couture in 2020 after a 50-year runway career.
It was all about weirdness. Rousteing took Gaultier’s “Le Male” torso-shaped perfume bottle, which features a metal strap under the nozzle — and turned it into several looks. Gathering applause from the enthusiastic audience, a model strutted around wearing a metal choker, striped glass top and pewter mini microphone. Elsewhere, the famous men’s pinstripe tuxedo jacket of bulky proportions has been reimagined under a body-shaped corset.
There were some truly emotional moments, like when two models strolled around in pregnant tapered bra looks in black and flesh, touching their bellies. It was seen as a political statement supporting lesbians having medically assisted reproduction, which the French parliament authorized last year.
Beyond the homage, this seam was definitely very Rousteing. He merged his personal styles with Gaultier house codes and many styles – flowing capes, caps and layering – captured those already seen on the Balmain catwalk.
In purely aesthetic terms, many looks veer into pastiche or costume. No one seemed to care.
A blonde Kardashian and her daughter sparked dazzling paparazzi photos as they climbed the stone steps of Gaultier’s headquarters in central Paris dressed like Madonna when she controversially appeared – with her breasts exposed – with Jean Paul Gaultier at a 1992 amfAR fundraiser in Los Angeles, California.
The style was impeccable in this tribute, in which Kardashian channeled the Gaultier pinstripe dress that at the time was making headlines around the world. Kardashian’s version here was more tame, with skin-tone inserts. West wore a cardigan, as the designer did while holding hands with his best friend at the time, for whom he designed several pieces of clothing, including the cone bra for the singer’s Blond Ambition tour.
Former Gaultier loyalists, such as Spanish actress and muse Rossy de Palma, were out in force to support the effort – alongside a host of RuPaul’s Drag Race stars, including Simone and Gigi Goode.
THE SUPERNATURAL OF ELIE SAAB
There was something shamanic in the air at Elie Saab, as the Lebanese designer merged his usual fare with the supernatural in a rare mixed show.
Fire-red and charcoal-black feathers, which seemed to burn the skirt of the first black V-dress, set the otherworldly tone.
There was an ethnic touch in the textures and patterns, and a beautiful geometry in the garment’s clean straps that exposed the model’s flesh.
Another piece, a high-priest-bird look, was surely the piece de resistance: a red and black feathered A-line cape with strong shoulders worn on a powerfully floor-sweeping male model. With its intricate white embroidered totem-like patterns, it was an impressive piece of design.
A witchy feel infused other designs, such as a jeweled number and silver pom poms with a sparkling choker that seemed to evoke a fantasy film. It was worn on a model with slicked back hair and nude makeup.
The French couturier and art and theater lover on Wednesday brought his audience back to a Renaissance universe of court jesters, young girls from fairy tales and galloping horses.
In the cobblestone courtyard of a large historic townhouse, a saxophonist played on stone steps while a horse grazed at his feet. Then a young lady came down from two carved wooden doors, wearing a blood-red velvet dress with a voluminous full skirt to lead the horse. A court jester appeared in an amorphous white bib with playing card designs, as the model in pigtails and a baby pink textured dress with cape sleeves offered cotton candy. Her skirt, cut on the bias and slightly drooping, had heavy waves that moved with an elegant swagger.
And then a man in a 19th century tailcoat and top hat rode a Penny Farthing bicycle.
Groups of men and women entered the courtyard brawling in stylized black funeral-style ensembles. A female model had on a Mafia-style hat and a long silk scarf – and looked like the head of a feuding criminal clan.
The fusion of performance with fashion made for a highly memorable show.
MARGIELA CINEMA HELL
A 30-minute piece in which two lovers – one pregnant, the other bleeding – drive across the desert was Maison Margiela’s couture offering for the fall.
The ‘assembly performance’ at the Palais de Chaillot was dreamed up by designer John Galliano, who created a bizarre ‘Southern Gothic’ tale set in Arizona.
Melodrama was everywhere. A model was shot to the cheesy but brilliant words of ‘she fell like an old coat falling off a hanger’.
Yet in terms of sewing, it is difficult to see the clothes.
It wasn’t until the post-performance call took place that guests could get a cohesive feel for the collection – and that from a distance – with femme fatale dresses, ruffled cowboy hats, jackets thick and hunting rifles. There was even a white bunny ear cap worn by a model over an amorphous layered tulle dress in pristine white.
The best looks were the classic Galliano, which still has an eye for historical and fluid dress codes. Model Anna Cleveland wore the piece de resistance – a giant pink silk ballgown with a loose torso and a parachute skirt that was funky gathered in the front. It was anachronistically paired with a bright red 1920s swim cap.
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