Sunday, September 30, 2012

Runway: Unforgettable 80s: Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2013

Gaultier's tribute to the 80s opened with Grace Jones, stepping straight off the Nightclubbing album cover in variations of the designer's tuxedo looks. Then came Hannelore Knuts as Annie Lennox in her "Sweet Dreams" incarnation, or, in actuality, a pinstriped Gaultier pantsuit. Next, Madonna, and that iconic cone bra attached to a black pencil skirt. So far, so true to Gaultier's own design sensibility. But when Karlie Kloss stepped out as Boy George, a meta disconnect kicked in and the show never really recovered as a coherent fashion statement. It continued to thrive, however, as an entertainment.

 There were some gorgeous and witty pieces—the Orientalism of a pleated A-line bustier gown, the trompe l'oeil printed denims, the black raffia sheath—but the fashion was subsumed by the concept. It peaked—or troughed—with the ABBA bit. Within seconds, Karlie Kloss was trolling the catwalk in a barely-there metallic blue outfit that unwittingly conveyed the notion of things falling apart. The Euro-disco legend Amanda Lear was the vedette of the finale. Her appearance thrilled the locals but left everyone else vaguely perplexed. In a way, a perfect metaphor for the collection: the familiar and the incomprehensible, meeting but not matching.


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