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Paris Fashion Week: Jean Paul Gaultier gets in the aloha spirit

June 23, 2011 |  8:53 pm


This season Jean Paul Gaultier switched things up format-wise, getting rid of the runway and dressing models right from the racks in front of the audience, and sending them out to walk in front of tables of buyers who were ostensibly sitting there ready to write orders.

There were two theories being whispered through the audience. One was that that designer had spent so much of his time working on his exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts that he had no time to plan a full-blown runway show. The other was that it was all a clever piece of stagecraft designed to underscore the commercial appeal of the collection. (Supporting that theory is the invitation to the show itself, printed on the front of the order form traditionally used by buyers.)

And although the result was a bit chaotic and lacking in ambiance, the cheery Hawaiian theme of the collection helped improve the mood a good deal.


There wasn't much nuance to it -- a series of Hawaiian prints. A dye sublimation print of a moonlit beach complete with sand, surf and palm trees appeared on trousers, shirts and zip-front jackets; tank tops had red and yellow screen-printed leis strung around the neck; and a variety of trousers and shorts had rows of hibiscus designs screen-printed down the front.


There were some wardrobe non sequiturs in the mix -- a white suit printed with row upon row of the distinctive blue address plates seen around Paris (the one on a suit bears the address of Gaultier's Rue Saint-Martin atelier) and a few green-and-purple plaid pieces for starters -- but even those weren't enough to damp the aloha spirit.

The last thing that put me in that good a mood was a mai tai.


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-- Adam Tschorn in Paris

Photos: Looks from the Jean Paul Gaultier spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press