Sunday, 17 October 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier's fulminant farewell

An era has come to an end, Jean Paul Gaultier presented his last collection for French traditional house Hermès on October 6th 2010.

It was not a silent goodbye - it was a swan song with stomping, clapping and attitude. The flamenco sounds thudding out of the speakers were accompanied by appreciative applause of the audience, which had gathered to witness the last extravaganza the designer had created for Hermès' womenswear.

Working with Hermès' best colours, black, chocolat, gold, etoupe, crème, Rouge Hermès and a dash of the signature orange that Hermès uses for all its packaging, Jean Paul Gaultier presented a collection reflective of Spanish dressage look. A whiff of flamenco, a dash of gaucho and a lot of classic noble Hermès equestrian style inclusive of riding crops and harnesses.
The former enfant terrible of French fashion, managed to combine austere elegance, soigné artisanry and signature craftsmanship with a hint of eroticism and his characteristical mischievous wink.

Beautiful tailoring, the savoir-faire of handling the most precious leathers (an exceptional translucent crocodile leather jacket!), Jean Paul Gaultier delivered Hermès chic with the likes of classic pantsuits, ultra-high-waisted pants, leather skirts in various lengths, jodhpur influended pants and elegant mousseline capes. The actual tone of the collection however was set by the fetish-looking, body conscious leather bustiers and torsolettes as well as the elegant blouses endorsed with harnesses. What was it with the harnesses this season? We saw them everywhere (Lanvin, Rag & Bone...).
Naturally, there were also plenty of splendid Hermès accessories (the to-die-for leather bracelets (!) and gloves) and playful modifications of the maison's signature bags (miniature Birkins, miniature Birkins inside semi-translucent Kelly bags, a wicker Kelly...).

A majestic goodbye for Jean Paul Gaultier. We shall see where Christophe Lemaire is leading Hermès' reins to in future collections.


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