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Nicola Mira
Apr 13, 2023
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Jean Paul Gaultier reinterprets the kilt and sailor top in new ready-to-wear collection

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Apr 13, 2023

After launching a collection themed around sailors, another one on punks, and the more recent trompe-l’oeil-based capsule collection designed by Glenn Martens, Jean Paul Gaultier is now focusing on two house icons: the kilt and the sailor top. These two key elements are the core of the label's new ready-to-wear collection called ‘Dress Like Jean Paul’, recently launched with a humorous ad campaign featuring ‘transformer’ make-up artist Alexis Stone and lensed by Grant-James Thomas.

Alexis Stone looks just like Jean-Paul Gaultier under Grant-James Thomas’s lens - Jean Paul Gaultier

French couturier Jean-Paul Gaultier, who sold his label to the Catalan group Puig in 2011 and stopped producing ready-to-wear collections in 2015, brought his career to an end with a last haute couture collection in January 2020. Since then, the Jean Paul Gaultier label has reintroduced ready-to-wear through various capsule collections designed in collaboration with talents such as Karim Benzema and Lotta Volkova, but also with emerging designers and more established fashion names like Glenn Martens and his Y/Project label. Martens has also designed a haute couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier.

In addition, the label has been introducing seasonal collections labelled ‘Très Gaultier’ (very Gaultier), designed by its studio under the aegis of creative director Florence Tétier. The last collection was launched in November 2022 and was entitled ‘Cyber’, drawing inspiration from the 1990s. The same approach has been used for this new collection, inspired by a portrait of fashion's enfant terrible dressed in a kilt and a striped sailors top, taken in a hotel room by photographer Jean-Marie Périer for Elle magazine in 1994.

The kilt and the sailor top were regularly featured by Gaultier in his 1980s and 1990s collections, becoming the label's signature items. They are the thread running through the ‘Dress Like Jean Paul’ collection, showcased by the label as it taps its strong brand reputation. In the last three years, Jean Paul Gaultier has been drawing on and increasingly highlighting its rich heritage.

A fresh take on the sailor-style top in Jean Paul Gaultier's new collection - Jean Paul Gaultier

The collection consists of ready-to-wear, accessories and swimsuits, and features blue and white trompe-l'oeil striped dresses, skirts and stretch tulle trousers. Also, various classic cotton striped tops available also in a tank-top version, as a top tied at the midriff and a crop top, as well as in a white knitted version. Variations on the same theme involve psychedelic stripes emphasising the body’s curves in some printed stretch tulle items, and red-and-white striped items.

The same logic applies to the tartan pattern, featured in its original form in red and blue wool kilts, or distorted in trompe-l’oeil effects on other items. Prices range from €140 to €690 depending on the item, up to €1,250 for the wool kilt. The collection is available exclusively on Jean Paul Gaultier's e-shop.

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