Courtesy of the Associated Press
French designer Jean Paul Gaultier on Tuesday turned his headquarters into a rehearsal studio, sending out a dance-inspired collection for next spring inspired by his recent collaboration with a top choreographer.
The ready-to-wear show in Paris opened with a trio of dancers twirling across the catwalk, setting the stage for a parade of wraparound jersey dresses that, once untied, transformed into elegant swimsuits with capes attached to the neck.
"To me, clothes on a hanger are simply still lives. It’s only when someone wears them that they come alive," Gaultier told reporters after the show. "Here, the idea was to create clothes that have several uses. You can go for a swim, you can also go out and it turns into a dress."
Gaultier has been busy designing the costumes for "Snow White," a new show from choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, and said he was fascinated by the way dancers twisted and draped their clothes.
It wasn’t the first time he has incorporated athletic wear into his creations, but some ideas worked better than others.
A cream linen shirt worn like a crossover cardigan looked chic with a draped jersey wrap skirt, but a ribbed bodysuit worn over pinstriped pants produced an awkward bulge at the crotch.
Overall, Gaultier avoided gimmicks to deliver a collection with strong commercial appeal, at a time when buyers are being particularly cautious.
Christophe Caillaud, president of Jean Paul Gaultier, said the tough retail environment meant sales at the brand would grow very modestly this year in comparison with 2007.
"If we do see growth, it won’t be very high. It won’t be two figures," he told The Associated Press.
Despite the uncertain outlook, the company is expanding in emerging markets, where demand for luxury goods is growing.
Gaultier recently opened its first store in India in the southeastern city of Bangalore, and has two more boutiques planned in Mumbai and New Delhi.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.