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Paris haute couture: Jean Paul Gaultier x Sacai

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

7 Jul 2021

Fashion

Image: Gaultier x Sacai

The conical bra and corset that made Jean Paul Gaultier a household name was re-imagined for the maison’s first haute couture collaboration since his official retirement last year.

The guest creator of this season’s collection is the formidable Japanese designer Chitose Abe, founder of luxury label Sacai, who reportedly had unprecedented access to the house’s archives and studio. Mr Gaultier is thought to not have had much input into the design process.

Abe’s conical bra came pleated and sewn into new guises like a strapless bomber jacket which became a puffer dress. She re-interpreted not just Gaultier’s archive classics but innovatively approached category staples, like the reshaping of a trench coat into a baby doll dress, or removing the sleeve of a pinstripe jacket to make it a hybrid corset construction. Abe’s technical capabilities prove to be well-suited to the art of couture. And her sense of humour and interpretation of the maison’s archives formed a good match for an unlikely pairing.

There was a strong focus on denim, with upcycled jeans cut into the most novel of silhouettes: a back thigh pocket transformed into a sleeve, or the pleat of a skirt assembled by a flurry of cut-off trousers. Even the chunky platform boots were laced with interwoven and padded jean fabric.

As the models did their final round, Abe and Gaultier came out smiling, with the former wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the text Enfants Terribles. So far they proved to be the coolest kids at couture.