Christmas carols in July? Perhaps it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s attempt at mind over matter. As temperatures in Paris soared, the designer conjured a snowscape with a fall collection inspired by ski resorts.
While guests fanned themselves, models paraded in oversize sweaters, cropped down vests and velvet ski pants. The outfits bore witty names such as Santa Clothes, Anna Winter and Be Polaire, while the soundtrack veered from crystalline Björk tunes to that Mariah Carey song.
Gaultier admitted his theme was somewhat ironic, given the summer shows at his Paris headquarters are famously sweltering affairs. “We don’t have built-in air conditioning and we do suffer, because I’m on the seventh floor, so when we do fittings, people pass out,” he said backstage.
It must have made for some backstage catfight this season, as his collection spanned from lushly textured outerwear to diaphanous dresses inspired by saris — the designer’s reasoning being that it snows in India, too.
In the first camp, a sheared black rabbit fur jacket glistening with jet beads, a beaded cream Aran sweater lined with mink, or a quilted velvet coat with kimono sleeves. Among the exotic-flavored options were a red crepe dress with an asymmetric cowl, or a super chic shoulder-draped camel cashmere coat.
Gaultier likes to go literal with a theme, so there were photo prints with surface effects including white velvet flocking, ostrich feathers and pearls. Slightly subtler allusions included Swarovski ice crystals on a nude tulle top, or snowflake embroidery on a dégradé gray velvet skirt suit.
There were witty touches, too, like the bobble hats worn with many of the evening gowns, including a flowing orange jersey tunic with trompe-l’oeil cable knit embellishments — a perfect way to jumble the seasons.
More From Paris Haute Couture Week Fall 2017:
Chanel Couture Fall 2017: Karl Lagerfeld focused on an essential tenet shared by the Eiffel Tower and couture itself: perfection of structure.
Backstage at Christian Dior Couture Fall 2017: Peter Philips and Guido Palau fashioned the beauty look of the show.
Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2017: The collection blended Baroque references and rock ’n’ roll — with a soupçon of 3-D printing.
Iris van Herpen Couture Fall 2017: For her 10th anniversary show, the designer sent out aquatic-themed creations to a performance by underwater group Between Music.
Paris Couture Gains Extra Day as Confidence Returns: France’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture has welcomed five brands as guest members on this season’s schedule.