It won't be my usual practice to post runway shots, but every time I see pictures from Jean-Paul Gaultier’s collections they seem as much art as fashion. In particular the amazing mermaid outfit (above) from last week’s Spring 2008 collection gave me a real jolt! Adding to the theatrics of the show, when the euphoniously named model Coco Rocha first appeared on the runway, she was in full mermaid tail and walking on two coral crutches! She then unzipped her fin and undulated down the catwalk, her bustier recalling the famous cone bra Gaultier originally created for Madonna (for whom he still designs).
With the exception of the intentional outrageousness of this costume, the rest of the collection looked beautiful, wearable, and unlike the valentine song - quite photographable. When people complain about how fashion photography is in the doldrums (a very common complaint) perhaps some of the fault lies in the lack of photogenic-ness of many of today’s clothes.
This is never something Gaultier could be accused of. Having now passed through the “bad boy” phase he was invariably called out for in the early Madonna era – he now stands as the heir apparent to Yves St. Laurent in terms of his position in French culture. In addition to his own label, he is now also the creative director of Hermes, but he still likes to have fun as his own website amply demonstrates if you care to fish around!