To (very loosely) paraphrase the great Raymond Carver, Jean Paul Gaultier is what we talk about when we talk about couture. In a week of shows that have left me at times both dazzled and underwhelmed (Valentino, I’m looking at you), Gaultier showed up just in time to remind us all exactly why we’re here: because only a handful of people on the face of the planet are capable of so masterfully creating clothes that make us dream.
That’s exactly what we got with this woven, corseted, sombrero’d Mexico-meets-Avatar collection of things that no one could ever wear out into the real world, except for maybe Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga. But the beauty of couture is that no one needs to wear most of it, which unshackles the designers and enables them to create truly resplendent and inspiring clothes-art without the burden of functionality (or the burden of reality, for that matter).
More so than any collection that I’ve seen so far this week, the conception and construction of these clothes are absolutely masterful. Yes, with the italics and everything. It’s that good. I usually flinch a bit when clothing is called a art, but I find it difficult to deny when I look at this collection – it’s everything fashion can and should be.
What Gaultier does best is not leave a detail untended. Not only does much of the collection have a Latin flavor, but even the bags and shoes look like they’re made of palm fronds and banana leaves. The clothes are great from the front, but some of them get better from the back. The weaving and boning are so meticulous that I find it hard to believe that human hands created them. The looks are fully realized and complete from head to toe, and a world where clothes like these are de rigueur is a place that I want to live.
Photos via Fashionologie.com