Gaultier ready-to-wear goodbye is glittery beauty pageant in Paris

Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:58pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - Bouffant wigs and white boots, French sailor stripes, a silver sequin staircase and a disco beat kicked off Jean Paul Gaultier's au revoir to the world of ready-to-wear in Paris on Saturday, and that was just the prelude.

The enfant terrible of French fashion gave jaded fashionistas a jolt of fun during what he said would his last pret-a-porter show, and, never one to be shy, he pulled out all the stops.

In a fashion week that already had a high dose of weirdness, from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby North West in the front row at Balenciaga to the release of a book about Karl Lagerfeld's fluffy white cat Choupette, Gaultier's show was the hottest ticket.

The beauty pageant theme began with the invitations - sashes which read "Miss Jean Paul Gaultier" - and continued with a bevy of beauties who strutted a catwalk that extended into the Art Deco auditorium of the Le Grand Rex theater.

Kitschy fun from the man who brought you Madonna's conical bustier is a hallmark of his shows.

Saturday's show incorporated a striptease by Spanish actress Rossy de Palma, Mexican wrestling by models and even a heartily applauded inside joke as Gaultier sent models down the runway dressed as fashion's who's-who, from Vogue creative director Grace Coddington to veteran fashion reporter Suzy Menkes.

Gaultier, a force in the business since the 1980s, announced this month that he was quitting ready-to-wear.

The brand, owned by Spanish perfumer Puig, will now on focus on haute couture, perfume, and collaborations within the industry, he said.   Continued...

A model presents a creation by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier as part of his Spring/Summer 2015 women's ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week September 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes