Jean-Paul Gaultier FW19 Couture: Rendezvous with Illusion

Jean-Paul Gaultier FW19 Couture: Rendezvous with Illusion

Jean-Paul Gaultier's latest collection showcases the magic of illusion and its boundless creative freedom.

Jean-Paul Gaultier's latest collection showcases the magic of illusion and its boundless creative freedom.

Text: Brycen Saunders

Skillfully contrasted by a minimalist setting with high ceilings and a black runway, Jean-Paul Gaultier ensured that every fold and ruffle of his collection would be the center of attention. Gaultier is no stranger to bold displays of unconventionality and color, and this season treaded the same line with a new air. As the first looks glided down the runway, it became clear that the collection was ushering in a theme of illusionary mysticism.

Was it fur? Faux fur? The truth is that it was neither. The implementation of detailed fur printed materials produced an illusion of authenticity, an illusion supplemented by the addition of various types and grades of feathers. Gaultier’s use of feathers was masterfully integrated as their three-dimensional nature and lifelike movement breathed life into flat textiles, giving the appearance of the most luxurious furs.

Placement proved pivotal for Gaultier as the feathers were placed particularly around the head, neck, and feet. The placement of fur was inherently thoughtful as it reflected the natural arrangement of fur on an animal’s body. The usage of reinvented materials was completed by the tonal palate of tan, white, brown, and black hues, which sealed the natural element and illusion of real fur.

To facilitate the transition of color, Gaultier opted for a dynamic ivory, offering an elegance that is just as timeless as it is exclusive. The textured satin jumper with daring lapels and a flowing cape to match was paired with a snake print embossed belt and a chunky gold Cuban link necklace. Throughout the collection, Gaultier maintained an element of mysticism. Movement and motion were critical for this collection, showcased by dresses with trailing sheer sashes and feathers that bounced with every step.

Perhaps one of the collection’s best moments was a beautiful lemon-lime dress that coalesced some of the best elements of Gaultier’s expertise: precise drapery (thank you Madame Grès), volume, and undaunted movement. Tent-like headdresses that fell down the torso shortly ensued, creating an appearance that was inviting yet reclusive.

With exaggerated ushankas, fur printed textiles with feathers, modern chainmail, and tent-like headdress, there was little to connect the pieces, but it’s Gaultier, and when you’re bold, anything goes. With this show, Gaultier illustrated that he is going to do what he wants, and he is going to do it well.

You can view the best looks from Jean-Paul Gaultier FW19 Couture in the slideshow below.

Credits: Photos Courtesy of Vogue Runway.

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