Karlie Kloss voguing? Joan Smalls shimmying to a nifty rumba? Hannelore executing a perfect tango? Coco Rocha slicking her quiff a la John Travolta inGrease and moving in on an Olivia Newton-John lookalike? “It will be murder on the dance floor!” promised Jean Paul Gaultier before his inspired romp of a show, which was held in the glitteringly kitsch Paradis Latin dance club. The designer was furious that his show fell at exactly the same time as the opener for the new season of France’s Dancing with the Stars, his TV addiction du jour, so he invented his own version and designed a collection that played with elements of dance dress, from the fringed flapper frocks of the dramatically violent twenties Apache dance to the bling-ed anoraks and sweat pants from the hip hop portion that were presented via fluffy tulle jive skirts and disco-era chain mail. So before a trio of judges—Rossy de Palma, Gaultier men’s muse Tanel Bedrossiantz, and Blanca Li, the choreographer who devised all this antic fun, the Gaultier gals strutted their stuff.
That Grease number led to endless riffs on the leather biker jacket—as a midriff-baring bustier top, perhaps, or a one-shouldered evening gown, or a sleeveless gilet worn over denim shorts that were veiled (in the shadow play of the season) with a pencil skirt of filmy black nylon. Reinterpreted in buttery satin, the biker jacket later became as soft as a pajama. Gaultier scattered tulle with a pattern of dressmaker pins in black flock velvet and embellished shimmy dresses with fringes of sequined strips of rayon knit. The flounces spiraling round a denim dress, meanwhile, were attached with press studs so you could tear them off faster than a Chippendales dancer’s pants and alter the amount of froth on your frock.
The Tango brought on tuxedo dresses slashed high on one side to reveal the leg, and Gaultier, of course, revisited his beloved old-fashioned corset palette for girdle skirts and more reimagined biker jackets. There were playful prints based on Venetian glass beads in swirling colors, evoking either heady disco nights or the black-on-white freckled design of French kids’ school notebooks and card portfolio covers—and Gaultier even designed a bag to match, just like those art holders. At the end, wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend “L’Enfant Terrible,” Gaultier joined Blanca Li for a finale jive that was as full of energy as this playful collection.
This is my favorite show so far what do you think?