Jul 5, 2012
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Gaultier's dandy cabaret wraps up Paris couture

Jul 5, 2012

Glamorous dandys in riding coats, top hats and turbans worked their charm on the fashion pack on Wednesday as Jean Paul Gaultier headlined the last day of the Paris haute couture shows.

The French designer played for his autumn-winter look with a cabaret spirit full of nods to a bygone era, with more than 50 silhouettes both male and female that ranged from smoking room elegance to the outright decadent.

Jean Paul Gaultier - Haute Couture AW 2012-13 / Photo: Pixel Formula

The spark for the collection was a period film starring the rocker Pete Doherty, the 19th-century set "Confessions of a Child of the Century", which Gaultier saw as a juror at the Cannes festival in May.

"He plays a decadent dandy, but with a lot of charm and seduction," the couturier said backstage. "When I came out of the film, I just said 'He is going to be my collection'."

Black catsuits of wool, velvet or billowing silk were buttoned all down the back or slashed to the base of the spine, worn with tiny cropped jackets and little 1920s resille nets over the hair.

"A dandyish woman, conquering but seductive," was how the designer summed up the look, which played on contrasting textures with lustrous crocodile used on riding coats and stoles.

Half a dozen men strutted their stuff with the girls, one South Asian model sporting beige crocodile jodhpurs and turban, while the androgynous model Andrej Pejic stepped out in an asymmetric dinner suit, half sheer and half opaque.

Come evening, Gaultier turned up the glamour dial with a fluffy fox fur bolero in bands of pale pink, cream and blue, and sheer silk gowns that rustled with sparkling embroidery -- one worn for dramatic effect by the blonde Pejic.

There were cheers as supermodel Karlie Kloss swept past in a glittering gold catsuit and enormous, billowing cape of black and gold, and as another sashayed out in a cage-like golden corset, and nothing else.

And last, the bride -- as per custom in the haute couture world -- glided out in a back-to-front ivory riding coat, unbuttoned to reveal the shoulderblades, with vast white skirts and white top hat.

Gaultier drew raucous applause as he skipped out in a black-and-white turban, despite the show having kicked off well over an hour late.

"It was genius -- it's always genius but today especially," said the actress Bette Midler. "The wedding dress, the whole thing was a fantasy."PARIS, July 4, 2012 (AFP)

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