Fall 2016 Couture
July 6, 2016
Welcome to “Show Notes,” in which FU’s critics offer an unfiltered peek at their musings and notebooks. For an in-depth analysis of the collections, don’t miss our forthcoming “Report.”
There’s really nothing like a Jean Paul Gaultier show. The cheering, the sashaying down the runway, the spectacle of it all—it’s quite the sight to behold.
For Fall 2016 Couture, Gaultier took us deep into the woods, transforming his models into what seemed like supernatural sorceresses of the deciduous variety.
It all began with Coco Rocha in a wood-print jumpsuit, which, it’s worth noting, matched the runway. Her arms were stacked with wide wooden cuffs, and her head was wrapped in a fur halo. Talk about getting our attention off the bat.
The play on texture in this collection was particularly intriguing. In addition to the wood prints, which gave the illusion of texture, Gaultier gave us sumptuous, tactile furs, chunky knits, a feather bolero, a skirt that quite literally looked as though it was made out of wood chips, and a mermaid gown accented with Mongolian lamb. What was most interesting, however, was a sculptural skirt suit that was made to look as though it was crafted out of wicker. The model’s locks were crimped to mimic its texture—a clever touch from hairstylist Odile Gilbert.
Occasionally, the woodland elements felt a bit heavy, or too literal. But then again, this is Haute Couture. And Gaultier likes to play—why the hell shouldn’t he?
The hunter’s jacket-orange wares, like a fur vest worn over a crystal-embellished gown and a floor-length knit coat with cuffs bigger than the model’s head, injected some serious vibrancy into this lineup.
A personal favorite look was a beaded turtleneck worn with shimmering silver trousers and a black, floor-length, fur-hooded, velvet coat. It was obviously opulent, but it was also quite wearable.
Speaking of beading, the handwork seen on this runway was astounding, from the embellishments to the lace details. The headpieces, too, were next level. This is what we come to couture to see, folks.
We also come to couture to see Anna Cleveland do her thing—which she did perfectly here, working the hell out of an epic silver-and-black evening coat and matching gown.
The bride, of course, closed the show in a gown that was at once diaphanous and wildly constructed. The first layer of her ensemble was a sheer nightgown-esque confection, on top of which was a corseted bodice that extended down and split off into petals or roots that grew out her hips and then became fluid, ribbon-like strips that reached down to the ground.
Naturally, when Gaultier walked out to take his bow, there was raucous applause.