Brown paper packages tied up with strings; these are a few of Jean Paul Gaultier's favorite things for fall. His runway was wrapped up in sheeting like a Christo art piece and the models bundled and bound like parcels in transit. Hangers and Stockman dress formsthe dummies used for fitting clothescirculated on an overhead track so the girls could take off and put on jackets and coats as they strutted.
Gaultier used the packaging motif to bisect jackets, wrap the torsos in asymmetrically hemmed tunics, and bind legs in leather, as if with packing tape. The joke continued with trompe l'oeil outfits made to look as if the models were half-submerged in mail bags or leopard-spotted women caught up in net, human versions of exotic animals traveling in the luggage hold. Gaultier's life-preserver gilets in puffy nylon or mink, and a tailored jumpsuit under a leather bomber jacket, strung out the in-transit story. The strongest pieces he delivered are in synch with the season's trends: the skinniest green-washed jeans, crumpled at the ankle and long enough to hide the shoe, and his tailcoat, cut as a vest with a bolero jacket on top. But cutting loose from over-themed design would modernize his presentation no end.