I love John Paul Gaultier. He celebrates beauty for what it is, not what society dictates it should be.
"My collections are about the beauty of a time when a woman didnt want to look like a girl, but a lady" he is quoted to have said about his most 2011 Spring Summer collection which showcased a send up of maturing beauties, who dress their age but still want a little sizzle with their steak.
The quote shows Gaultier at his most French, and the collection shows yet another side to his work. He used the traditional codes of the upper class — thick tweeds, tailored trousers and ribbed cardigans with a sense of humour.
The models came dressed as matrons in gray beehives and tame kitten heels with just about everything in between covered up. Silk blouses, colorfully printed or plain, were buttoned all the way, some topped with a scarf. Turtlenecks were layered under long, straight dresses, and pants were cut with full, pleated legs.
The outerwear stood out, not just because the coats were often discarded down the runway, as each girl liberated herself from something — a glove, a shoe, etc. — as part of the ongoing ultraconservative striptease gag.
The best were trenches — tons of them — done half in leather, half in wool, and grand, quilted leather parkas with deluxe fur trim. Jumpsuits, with full sleeves and a little sparkle, were a nice alternative to the evening dress for chic women of a certain age.
I am aware I have caught onto the Gaultier fashion week lovefest rather late but in hindsight, it was nice to see Gaultier address grown-up women albeit the kind who can afford to spend. And if taken alone the clothes were not overtly sexy. Well, that part as to come from whoever is wearing them.