By an odd fashion coincidence, Jean Paul Gaultier
chose to showcase his new Puissance Deux concept
(Gaultier to the power of two) the day after
Véronique Branquinho celebrated her vision of
coupledom. And, for his choice of music, he too drew
on that definitively French duo Gainsbourg and Birkin.
Not that you can accuse Gaultier of being a Jean-ny Come Lately, of course. He has been here before, with his "Wardrobe for Two" collection in 1985. His goal this time, he said, was to "show things I wanted to say about men from the very beginning." In other words, his aim was to give guys the license to be as glamorous as the Jerry Hallstyle goddesses he sent down the runway alongside the male models.
The show played like a Gaultier's-greatest-bits spectacular: tartans, sailor pants, skirt pants, languid knitwear, matelot stripes, trompe l'oeil detailing (a trench with a zip-off skirt, a coat with a hem that buttoned up to create a parka). It is still hard to envisage Gaultier's skirt pants at the local mall, but he was smart to show them on models whose masculinity was refreshingly unambiguous in a season when the boy mannequin still ruled. These men could even carry off the robe de chambre that floated diaphanously over a black jacket and tweed trousers, or the huge fox fur that accessorized a three-piece velvet suit.