While in Paris for the shows, fashion folk have been flocking to Le Comédia, an old theater Thierry Mugler (now known as Manfred) has taken over for his extravagant new revue, the “Mugler Follies.”
It’s practically around the corner from the headquarters of Jean Paul Gaultier, who on Wednesday treated his couture audience to a theatrical spectacle of his own. His cabaret-tinged show was a delight, starring one of his most lighthearted and fetching collections in years.
Butterflies were the main leitmotif, dictating the pinched waists, the winglike protrusions from shoulders and that gorgeous array of iridescent insect colors that have alighted collections all over town this week.
Gaultier opened with a black cocktail suit, the satin gathered at the navel and foreshadowing an array of imaginative butterfly effects, from a mille-feuille of wing shapes in lieu of lapels on a lean tuxedo jacket to big, rounded shoulders on gauzy blouses.
He occasionally strayed from the theme to parade house standards like the jean jacket, here a denim vest paved in spiky crystals, and the sailor sweater, done in the guise of a ruffled, off-the-shoulder top.
The atelier produced wonders. Gaultier took hundreds of meters of tulle, twisted into the thickness of cord, and wove the strands into a web aimed at the high-net-worth ladies in the front row. A long fishtail skirt in red mesh unraveled toward the hem into a zesty froth. Paired with a long silky blouse, it was dazzling.
The clothes gradually became more decorated as Gaultier’s social butterflies morphed into full-on showgirls in flapper dresses swinging with chains and pearls, towering on the runway with dramatic feathered headpieces.
The designer called on burlesque star Dita Von Teese to walk the show in a corset creation by Mr. Pearl. And it didn’t feel camp, just a treat.