Paris – Lights, camera, Gaultier! French fashion's enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier found it, at the movies with a fall 2009 haute couture collection on Wednesday, July 8, inspired throughout by cinema.
Gaultier telegraphed his punch to guests as soon as they walked in the door of his Paris headquarters by naming each area of the show space after a major studio.
Each look was named after a famous movie, opening with curvaceous Dutch model Lara Stone as Le Mepris of "Contempt," Jean Luc Godard's classic starring Jack Palance and Brigitte Bardot about the cynicism of film making. Stone strutted out in leather trench-coat and seamed tights, her blonde hair piled up in a beehive just like Bardot in the movie.
Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" was represented by beautifully cut Chinese quilt taffeta sailor's pants and a cropped reefer coat. "Key Largo" was a vampish femme fatale in military trench meets jumpsuit with technically tricky tailoring and great panache.
At times, the more outlandish looks seemed almost like living organisms, such as the crocodile scale ensemble that represented "Night of the Iguana." And few couturiers can draw out such fine craftsmanship from their ateliers as Gaultier, whose satin Mae West look seemed made out of Wurlitzer organ pipes.
Though the coolest idea was probably the most restrained, a beautifully draped black décolleté dress for Michelangelo Antonioni's "La Notte," where Russian model Sasha Pivovarova mimicked the blond sexy intellectual hair of star Monica Vitti.
Gaultier took his concept even further with several outfits literally made of film strips, including one called "Rushes."
The whole thing garnered great applause from an audience that included Kylie Minogue and Mickey Rourke.
Asked what a Irish-American actor was doing at a couture show, Rourke replied: "They promised me lots of green beer, kegs of it. See you backstage for a glass!"