The invitation to Jean Paul Gaultier's show offered
the first clue of what was in store: It was a puzzle
that crumbled in your hands as you opened the
The moment a soundtrack of cut-and-paste snippets of famous Prince tracks blared and two girls in slashed outfits hit the runway simultaneously, it all became clear: Gaultier was embracing bricollage.
Three-piece suits took on a whole new meaning on his runway. The bottom halves of jackets were hacked off and worn as miniskirts over matching trousers; detachable sleeves hung precariously by little fastenings at the shoulder. Not one to hold back, Gaultier unceremoniously relieved plush fur coats of their entire backsides; long evening gowns were also snipped, turning them into glamorous tank top-and-skirt combos. For those fearful of do-it-yourself endeavors, there were a couple of aged leather coats, plenty of sharp trousers and a substantial array of Purple Rain skirts and tops.
"The idea was to make clothes that can be made as you want," exclaimed an exultant Gaultier after the show, in his distinctive brand of English. "You can take them apart and put them back together in different ways. It's about freedom!"