Jean Paul Gaultier has relaxed into his job at Hermèsin a great way. His spring collection, shorn of the nervous-tic horsey puns and heavy-handed homages to French conservative dressing he came in with, made complete sense. In fact, with his white shirtdresses, scarf-print pieces, nicely judged silk cardigans, and brilliant use of that deliciously classy house orange, he has finally cleared up the essential dilemma that has bedeviled the house since it first stepped into the clothing arena.
To wit: Hermès is a sanctuary for sophisticated women who want quality and classicismbut who also don't want to look like also-rans in the trend stakes. For the first time, Gaultier mixed a perfect elixir of house symbolism and extract of fashion to pique the interest of that hard-to-get but high-spending class. He showed tall platform sandals to act as a foil to a fabulous three-piece white linen pantsuit, made Hermès scarves into pencil skirts and tunics, and turned out the most gorgeous plissé orange goddess dress. These clothes, while registering fashion, elegantly stepped clear of the pitfalls of too much trendiness. Top marks, JPG.