Who doesn't dream of a quiet life in the countryespecially on a day like today, when a transit strike slowed Paris traffic to a crawl? But many abandoned their bucolic fantasies this afternoon at the Jean Paul Gaultier show. The odeur rising from a runway lined several inches thick with hay was distinctly barnyard, and 40 minutes into the wait for the start of the show, the ushers' eyes were burning and the audience was fanning away the smell.
Too bad, because there was plenty to like about Gaultier's romp through the rural life, starting with his familiar peasant blousesthis season in cream and wine silk delicately embroidered in blackand continuing through to his gypsy dresses, in bold florals edged with lace rather than last year's stripes. He didn't neglect his trademark sharp tailoring, eitherthere was nothing bumpkinish about a cream cropped jacket with tuxedo tails, worn with a matching slim skirt.
Less soigné were trousers and shorts so high-waisted they grazed breastbones and which hung from the shoulders with the help of suspenders. But those farmer pants aside, Gaultier's spring collection was unrepentantly girlyespecially when it came to evening dresses. Suggesting old-time nightgowns (but in sheer silks, not scratchy cottons) and accessorized with straw in the hair (which was just the beginning of the outlandish headwear), they seemed designed to inspire a roll in the hay. Let's just hope it's freshly bundled.