PFW: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER S/S 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier enjoys putting on a show, and for sheer entertainment value, this spring/summer 2014 display didn’t disappoint. Set in Paradis Latin, one of Paris’ best known cabarets, the invitation promised a trip back to the 1970s, disco, and John Travolta. Given the title “Another Saturday Night,” I was expecting white suits, mirror balls, and maybe even a lit dance floor. Gaultier didn’t limit himself to one movie, however, and instead started with a “Grease” inspired leather collection with supermodel Coca Rocha playing Travolta’s part.

So, leather dominated the first several looks, from bikers jackets cinched at the waist, to leather corsets and bustiers tight leather pants, poofy skirts with lots of tulle, and even some torn denim here and there. A few pieces were deconstructed with leopard print sheer panels and there were even a few instances of leather peplum, though why that particular tool was applied is a mystery as it only made the looks more confusing.

Eventually the white suit did show up, but it was a look more befitting Neo, from The Matrix than John Travolta’s Tony Manero character. The silver lame shirt under a white sleeveless trench coat isn’t a look too many people are going to be able to wear without suffering severe ridicule. A black and white pinstripe suit with a double breasted jacket and thin tie fared much better.

Fortunately, other than an overdose of REALLY big hair and Karlie Kloss dancing on the runway, Gaultier didn’t limit himself too much to time period re-enactments. Midst all the leather and lace (and there was a lot of leather and lace) were several floral micro prints given a good dose of asymmetrical styling and nice touches of fringe. Add fishnet stockings, platform heels, and silk shirts and those of us old enough to have suffered through the tragedy of 70s fashion the first time were almost beginning to feel nostalgic.

Almost.

The sound track was classic rock, including a heavy dose of Queen. The choreography was impressive. At the very end, Gaultier himself steps out and does what I can only assume was an audition tape for Dancing with the Stars. He wasn’t horrible, but he probably shouldn’t give up the designing gig.

It was a fun show at the end of a long Saturday. I didn’t hear anyone going away complaining.

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