He styled Eighties icon, Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour, designed for goth artist Marilyn Mansen and lent his creative expertise to Kylie Minogue’s International tour of 2008, and along the way earned his reputation as the enfant terrible of the fashion world with his unusual and unique take on haute couture. This season Jean Paul Gaultier served up a collection that ran the gamut of popular culture, referencing musical legends from decades past, though most notably the designer’s go-to fashion era that gave us such fashion firsts as white ankle socks, crucifixes, flame red hair and Doc Marten boots. The Eighties hall of fame was re-enacted by models including Jourdan Dunn and Karlie Kloss who, respectively, donned their best Sade and Boy George ensembles of slinky black dresses and tucked-waist suits, richly coloured trilbies sporting dreadlocked do’s and flowing kimono-esque jackets and satin maxi dresses awash with colour. It was fashion week’s answer to Madame Tussauds, a spectacle of poptastic proportions, complete with male backing dancers in barely-there attire. Androgynous Annie Lennox tailored suits, graphic Grace Jones hair and star-spangled fishnet body stockings a la David Bowie.
The conical curves that endowed Madonna with iconic status and layered religious accessories of her youth were ever so Desperately Seeking Susan, while Michael Jackson was reincarnated via Gaultier’s adaptation of the red Thriller jacket in crimson satin, ankle-skimming trousers working the cropped catwalk trend and those recognisable flourishes of white glove and ankle socks that will always be signature Michael. The silk floral printed trousers and dragon motifs inspired by the trademark style of Boy George played into the oriental flavour that has enriched the current season, while denim dresses, skirts and jackets teamed with flowing hippy locks gave a nod to the Seventies power of Swedish pop group, Abba. Punches of colour, from shiny azure to magenta and neon yellow shot through the all black ensembles of Nineties Sade fashions, big hoops and all, and a guest appearance from Sixties fashion model, Amanda Lear, in pink sequinned swimsuit and sheepskin-edged aviator jacket added even more glitz and glamour to an already overflowing pot of glittering fabulousness. Striking pose after music icon pose, with a soundtrack to match, neon orange Doc Marten-esque platforms and a stained glass window jumpsuit completed Gaultier’s homage to “all the pop stars of the Eighties who have influenced fashion.”
Catwalk images: copyright vogue.co.uk