The sailor is a house icon at Jean Paul Gaultier. There seems to be no limit to the number of times the designer will go back to that well. The twist for Spring is that our hero, the marinière, has traveled to India. That is to say, he wears the seafaring garb that is his standard and classic—the buttoned panel sailor's trousers in denim, the Breton stripes, the cape-back tops—but many pieces bear the influence of Indian craftwork. Those Breton stripes are picked out in a scattering thicket of beads. The sailor's tattoos (anchor, siren, so on) are embroidered onto shirtsleeves and fronts. A toile de Jouy, meanwhile, featured scenes from sailorly life, including le mâle from the ads for the JPG cologne Le Male. It may be a lot of Gaultieriana if you're not already a Gaultierite.
The collection was shown in the showroom this season, taking a break from the usual runway défilé. A label rep explained that some men's couture looks will be shown on his couture runway instead. He did the same last season and, wouldn't you know, the pieces sold. They say the men's market is growing, and even in the most rarefied realms of women's, here's the proof. And so JPG sails into largely uncharted waters.