Jean Paul Gaultier

The “Kaputt” crystal from the king of couture

On January 28, fashion’s glitterati gathered at Jean Paul Gaultier’s headquarters on rue Saint-Martin to witness a very special launch. Named ‘Kaputt’ (German for ‘broken’), a startling new assortment of six ‘perfectly imperfect’ crystals designed by the couturier and created by Swarovski formed part of his sensational Spring/Summer 2015 collection for Paris Couture Week. Playing with irregular forms of pendants, square shapes and round stones in rich, shimmering metallics, the groundbreaking crystals lit up the runway on selected couture creations, as well as being the stars of a range of jewelry and accessories.
Jean Paul Gaultier for Swarovski Kaputt Crystal CutHow do you improve upon perfection? Jean Paul Gaultier has the answer: introduce a note of ‘perfection imperfection’. This sums up the fearless fashion maestro’s eureka moment, which hit him while collaborating with Swarovski on the creation of an exclusive new crystal cut, unveiled at his recent Spring/Summer 2015 couture show in Paris.

Offsetting the designer’s celebrated theatrical humor, conventionally impeccable tailoring introduced a serious stylish edge. The sheer sleeves and side panels of a faux-snakeskin scarlet dress were given baroque embellishment in red and black crystals, while a gray, dungaree-style bodice was attached to a floaty, floor-length gown with glittering buckles. Hand-cut Kaputt crystals in one-off sizes appeared on chunky statement chokers and necklaces, cuffs and bracelets—there was even a witty, bejeweled take on a Perspex® bridal tiara. This was elegance with impact, summing up the subversive genius that has had Gaultier crowned the original enfant terrible of fashion. 

The unanimous ‘wow’ verdict awarded to Kaputt’s revolutionary approach to ‘imperfect perfection’ was all the more gratifying, given that the creative and technical process behind it was exceptionally complex and difficult. It took over a year of development, requiring months of close teamwork between Jean Paul Gaultier and the technicians and artisans. The couturier will enjoy exclusive use of the new Kaputt crystal cut until September 2015, after which it will take its place as a new star in the Swarovski crystal assortment 

Following his storming catwalk show, Swarovski threw an after-show cocktail party in Jean Paul Gaultier’s honor at the Mona Bismarck Foundation, attended by supporters, press, celebrities and friends. They included likes of Suzy Menkes, Stefano Tonchi, Frederique Bel, Rose Mc Gowan and Babeth Djian. The venue was transformed with thousands of floating Kaputt crystals and specially produced giant Kaputt showpieces. Guests had the chance to admire up close the craftsmanship on a ravishing couture dress made with Swarovski Fine Crystal Mesh and Swarovski Crystal Transfer motifs, along with stunning jewelry and accessories, all of which had just come off the catwalk. Check out the pictures on the Crystal Blog.


Photography Patrice Stable