Paris: John Galliano put on a tongue-in-cheek show for Maison Margiela on the final day of Paris Fashion Week, as Jean Paul Gaultier bid adieu to the Paris couture runway with a fashion show and surprise guest singer Boy George at the Chatelet Theater.
Gaultier on Wednesday retired from runway couture collections — the designer’s only remaining runway show outlet since ending his ready-to-wear collections in 2014. Hanging up his couture pin cushion — and with it effectively his catwalk career — is a big moment for the industry, but also a logical step for the onetime enfant terrible of French fashion, who had acknowledged his disillusionment with the frenetic pace of the modern fashion industry.
Here are some highlights of Wednesday’s spring-summer 2020 haute couture displays.
BRUNI BIDS GAULTIER’S GOODBYE BUT NOT ADIEU
Former French First Lady and ex-supermodel Carla Bruni joined hundreds of veteran Gaultier aficionados, who pushed and shoved in the iconic Chatelet Theater, for the final-curtain-call couture collection of Paris’ inimitable fashion artiste.
“Life is always the end of an era,” Bruni told Associated Press, striking an upbeat tone. “Jean Paul can never really stop.”
In a tweet, the 67-year-old Gaultier said that the Wednesday night couture show “celebrating 50 years of my career will also be my last.” He added: “But rest assured, haute couture will continue with a new concept,” without elaborating how.
For the relatively small Paris couture industry, having last year lost a towering figure in Karl Lagerfeld, the decision for Gaultier to quit, one more lost voice, has marked it deeply.
The difference is: “Jean Paul is alive. He’s well and alive,” Bruni said, smiling.
THE FINAL GAULTIER SHOW
Dealing head-on with whispers about the end of his career, ever-humorous Gaultier began the spectacle with a funeral scene — as six male models carried a black coffin onto the runway. He ended it, after 90 minutes of new creations, jumping and laughing on stage as everyone danced to Boy George’s singing his hit “Church of the Poison Mind.”
The energetic collection was a greatest hits of his couture. Figures from the Gaultier’s past, including models from the 1980s, as well as it-models such as Bella Hadid and Karlie Kloss, walked the runway.
Design flourishes included cropped denim hot-pants with an actual pair of jeans attached to the back, a floaty Asiatic printed parachute gown, a sheath made of blown-up belts, a fringed monochrome tuxedo coat, and even a ninja outfit with a feathered headpiece. Needless to say there were also lots of gender-bending styles....