March 09, 2010 Paris
Having established his references, clever old Gaultier was, first of all, able to make sly fun of the kinky-fetish aspects of so much black leather-wearing—something that has indeed crossed the mind as a slight issue of taste in many a show this season. When Gaultier sets about using napa leather at Hermès, however, his real concern is to cut a regular and discreet jacket or coat, the likes of which is one of the foundations of the house ready-to-wear. The saddlelike epaulets with dangling vestigial stirrups may be discounted as a prank—get past them and the bowlers and the umbrellas, and what you begin to see is impeccable tailoring, with no egregious extras as far as trendiness is concerned.
That settled, Gaultier was free to use the remainder of the collection to sneak in such fare as casual-deluxe duffels, parkas, and sporty vests, along with the superb knitwear of the house. Still, he was stumped on eveningwear. He's not alone in that, this being the season of the comeback of day. But fringed mohair blankets arranged in tiers, as evening skirts? That was a joke that was just a joke.