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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyCouture Gaultier: Larking About In The Hay

Jean Paul brought in country bumpkins to soften his sharp tailoring in a witty way.

31 Января 2017


Something was stirring at Jean Paul Gaultier — a wheatsheaf, a flowered dress, a woman in white upturned in a wooden wheelbarrow.


This rites of spring at the couture show brought some freshness to the designer's tailoring which is oh-so-familiar, however brilliantly executed. In fact, the designer just gets better at tossing off tailoring with a twist - literally in the case of a tuxedo suit with a big, soft bow apparently growing out of the chest.


With Gaultier's penchant for naming all 58 outfits with a witty one-liner, this particular Parisian tuxedo was dubbed "avant l'orage" or "before the storm". Others had more perky labels, like a slyly sexy peasant blouse and a play on denim called "carte postale", or "postcard", and a jersey dress sliced to reveal a lot of bare leg on one side labelled "bikinight".


The truth is that Gaultier shows have become extremely predictable: same venue with its long runway; same jokey models inserted among the pros; same addition of a typical old style Parisian figure — this time a country bumpkin musician.


But even if Jean Paul has been playing the same music for 35 years, there was something engaging this season within the familiar concept of tailoring-versus-fluid style.


New was the move from the Eighties to the Forties as a reference to sharp shoulders, as was a focus on the country.

The programme notes were encased in a cover featuring ears of corn. And that down-on-the-farm feeling made this spring/summer show seem fresh when flowered dresses challenged tailoring.

The show's finale had model Coco Rocha playing innocent farm girl as she tumbled into a wooden wheelbarrow with her beau.


And down that long catwalk ran Jean Paul Gaultier — flinging himself with gay abandon at the photographers. Just as he always does.

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