Ask Jean Paul Gaultier to name some favorite vampire movies, and it’s like clamping onto a rich vein: Out spews titles including “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” “Interview With a Vampire” and the “Twilight” series.
“An elegant vampire in a luxurious jogging suit,” was how Gaultier described his fall couture show, marred by the truly frightening spectacle of an elderly model teetering and falling repeatedly from her vertiginous heels.
Mindful that blood-sucking, undead creatures represent “an already theatrical idea,” Gaultier held himself back, telegraphing the theme via the black, white and red color palette and ghostly Marilyn Manson makeup. It was an excuse to use blood-red pony skin and liquid jersey, and to show dramatic hoods on a range of haute warm-up jackets in velvet, knitted fur, miniscule crystals and lace the color of cobwebs. These were fun — among the best items in the show.
The tailoring was dusty, if finely executed: mille-feuilles of organza sculpted into leg-of-mutton sleeves and dramatic, face-framing collars. A black jumpsuit, the shoulders capped in satin, and an asymmetric cape with satin lapels were clever takes on tuxedo dressing. Gold chains, a witty substitute for pinstripes on mannish suits, escalated into a strange detour of lamé pantsuits and a hoop skirt ringed in bling.
Many of the evening gowns were arresting, including a black-and-white caped number pieced together with golden fangs.
Do you think garlic could deter Gaultier from his camp proclivities? Not a chance. Upstaging the bride in an Elvira-worthy ball gown was bearded drag performer Conchita Wurst, winner of the 2014 Eurovision song contest.