2009年2月24日 星期二

Dresses that turn into swimsuits and feathered dancing queens: There's more to Jean Paul Gaultier than Madonna's conical bras

2009 spring ready-to-wear collection

Jean Paul Gaultier flipped two Gallic fingers to the doom-mongers of the fashion world, proving he has what it takes to rock the catwalk, even during the credit crunch.
You can even imagine his shrug at the prospect of showing during an economic downturn: the show must go on.
And so it did. As music boomed out over the Jean Paul Gaultier headquarters in Paris

Material girls: Jean Paul Gaultier made his name creating Madonna's conical bras, but these colourful creations are way more wearable




"To me, clothes on a hanger are simply still-lives. It's only when someone wears them that they come alive," Gaultier said after the show.

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And these clothes certainly came to life. With a flick of the model's wrist, the folds on a vivid papaya tutu dress opened, like the wing of a tropical bird, to reveal a ruffled skirt.
Feathers on flamboyantly coloured boleros and stoles danced and rustled with every step.




Swimsuits under dresses, nude tones lifted by juicy tropical shades and maxidresses with bold, bright strapes.
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Models in fluid jersey dresses untied and swirled them behind, revealing intricate cut-out swimsuits in luxe fabrics, finishing their walk with their cape billowing dramatically in their wake.



"Here, the idea was to create clothes that have several uses," Gaultier explained of the convertible swimsuit-cape combinations.
"You can go for a swim, you can also go out and it turns into a dress."
And, as well as those credit crunch busting swimsuits, there was plenty more to satisfy.
High-waisted trousers, a muted take on the matador's contour-hugging pants we've seen from Gaultier before, were reworked in nudes; putty, tan or taupe.
But, while there was this sombre side to the colour palette, the muted tones were frequently mixed with and lifted by papaya, scarlet and chartreuse.
Maxi-dresses in nude tones were criss-crossed with ribbon straps in bold colours; Twenties-style flapper dresses or gowns in soft blush pink and silver received a bolt of colour from feather stoles in scarlet, navy or lemon.


Convertible clothing: A model unties her jersey dress to reveal a swimsuit with cape attached


Colour and movement: Left, a vivid papaya dress with matching feather bolero; right, fabric forming a dress was transformed over the length of the catwalk to reveal a cut-out swimsuit with orange wrap robe












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There was a hint of Gaultier's past as the man behind Madonna's legendary conical corsets in a quirkily tailored suit styled with swimming costume over the top. Very Blonde Ambition, very Madonna - but not a look you could take to the High Street in Tunbridge Wells.
Put the costume under the trousers though, and you have a look that's way more wearable, a slick bodysuit with clean line off-setting the loose, masculine tailoring of the suit.
It was this mix of personality and commercialness that the entire collection, proving that fashion doesn't have to lose all its frivolity to stay relevant in the retail world.







Left, a dress unties to create a swimsuit; centre, nudes, taupes and tans are given a lift with vivid papaya; right, a swimsuit worn, Madonna-style, over a trousersuit






Left, silver flapper-style dresses were given colour with feather stoles; centre, movement is key to bringing the clothes to life, says Gaultier; right, high-waisted trousers had a touch of the matador about them











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