Couture Heads for the Seaside

The ‘Brittany’ couture collection from Jean Paul Gaultier

Reprising his signature Breton stripes, this time from top to toe—hats, jumpsuits, even stockings—Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall/Winter 2015/16 couture collection sparkled with characteristic wit.

We were on the Brittany seashore from the get-go: A traditional crêpe stand, the squawk of seagulls, and a foghorn’s signal started the show, with model Anna Cleveland (the daughter of Salvador Dali muse and Halston house model, Pat Cleveland) heading down the runway. Having cleverly established his narrative, the Breton theme was expanded and beautifully embellished: a black and bright yellow full-length velvet dress showed off a pattern typical of Brittany, along with a crocheted marinière sweater, plus gold-embroidered peacoats and bombers inspired by Brittany’s ‘bagad’ pipe bands. Of the total 59 looks that blazed down the runway, nearly all featured extraordinary embroidery and myriad hand-applied Swarovski crystals in five light-filled colors: Dorado, Metallic Light Gold, Jet, Hyacinthe and Sunflower. Jewelry and accessories dazzled, too, with specially created pieces made with Swarovski crystals: The groundbreaking Kaputt cut was put to striking use throughout, its startling asymmetry providing a ‘perfectly imperfect’ expression of Gaultier’s famously off-kilter aesthetic. Crystal Spikes and Studs—originally inspired by the maestro himself—introduced an edge to the beauty, and once again lent textural interest to his trademark impeccable tailoring. Statement pieces that blazed a trail down the catwalk included the striking SINI pendant ring and bracelet, while the bridal gown was accessorized with a breathtaking asymmetric necklace in gold—one of the standout items that inspired the imminent Spring/Summer 2016 Atelier Swarovski by Jean Paul Gaultier collection. 

Further standouts were a black suede suit striped with Jet Baguette Flat Back crystals in an ode to casual elegance, and the use of deepest ink-black to launch zingy orange, electric blue and brilliant yellow. Plus circular skirts wittily reminiscent of the aforementioned crêpes—the most eye-catching of which was the finale’s bridal gown. This remarkable showpiece came accessorized with a stunning asymmetrical necklace in gold, one of the key jewelry pieces to have inspired the forthcoming Spring/Summer 2016 Atelier Swarovski by Jean Paul Gaultier collection. Look out for more about that soon. 

Bon voyage, Monsieur Gaultier—we can’t wait for the next stage of your iconic fashion journey.


Photography Patrice Stable