By Maria D. Valderrama / Paris/ Few people would dare to miss the farewell of the “enfant terrible” of French fashion, designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who on Wednesday said goodbye to the catwalks with a spectacular fashion show that brought together his muses, friends and most iconic creations.
When an event features Gaultier, there is no place for sadness. Far from crying, the show at the Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet, which lasted about an hour and a half, was a celebration of 50 years dedicated entirely to the creation of an aesthetic and an attitude that has become part of fashion history.
Gaultier didn’t cry as he thought he would when seeing all his friends together, including actresses Dita Von Teese and Rossy de Palma, who walked the runway in a minidress made out of chunky belts and a black tutu made out of fans.
From the theater seats, the list of prominent figures in fashion industry who came to pay tribute to the creator seemed endless: from Anna Wintour, the respected editor-in-chief of US Vogue, through to models and ex-models such as Carla Bruni, Ines de la Fressange, Laetitia Casta, Eva Herzigova, Andres Velencoso and designers Isabel Marant, Clare Waight Keller and Nicolas Ghesquiere.
The public’s expectations were very high as they know the presentation that Gaultier (Bagneux, 1952) puts on with his shows. It was undoubtedly the most festive night of the couture calendar, with the champagne flying and models posing eccentrically.
It was even rumored that his 97-year-old mentor, Pierre Cardin, with whom Gaultier began working in 1970 for 18 years, would attend the shows.
Gaultier created his brand six years later and in the 1980s he revolutionized fashion by introducing foundations that are now part of the routine of many brands: he ended the genres, mixed the sexes by putting skirts and corsets on the men, put what he saw on the street onto the runway, included tattooed women and actors from the most gloomy and indie Parisian nights.
The spring-summer 2020 haute couture collection presented this Wednesday was a selection of his hits and those that have been his great obsessions: jeans, corsets, sailor style, androgyny, which were carried even further to what he described as a celebration of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The show, which featured 120 models, began as a funeral: a black coffin was carried by several male models down the stairs. The coffin had two conical breasts sticking out and the models carried it to the rhythm of a samba.
Finally, a model emerged from the coffin with a short white dress with a balloon skirt. The message could not be clearer: this does not end here. (January 23, 2020, EFE/Practica Español)
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