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