(Photo Credit: FirstView)

Jean Paul Gaultier says au revoir to couture

When Jean Paul Gaultier announced that his upcoming SS 2020 couture show would be his final bow, the fashion world – and everyone else, really – was pretty stunned.

At that time, he promised “quite a party with many of my friends” and he certainly delivered on that vow – and then some.

A star-studded farewell and an event of spectacular proportions was a fitting celebration of his 50-year-long career, that brought us oodles of iconic looks through the decades that have, in many ways, defined the way we look at couture and its ability to fit into the mainstream and make significant waves while there. Case in point: the cone bra, most famously worn by Madonna during her ‘Blond Ambition World Tour’ and several of her, equally historic music videos that, in a sense, defined that entire era.

Supermodel extraordinaire Cocoa Rocha made an appearance in a 60s-inspired asymmetrical blue gown with silver trim along with her adorable 2-year-old daughter wearing a matching blue gown. Gaultier’s final (gasp!) couture show was just as inspiring and inventive as his entire career, where his unmissable sense of humor, joie de vivre and humanity etched their way into each of the over 200 looks presented on the runway.

The historic finale took place at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, with Boy George opening the show with an unforgettable rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” with six dancer-pallbearers carrying a black coffin which, quite appropriately, had two metal cones on top. Supermodel Karli Kloss then opened up the coffin to reveal the first look of the show: a white baby doll dress, seemingly quite symbolic of a birth – or rebirth of a new era. Very apropos the many a time when JPG infused new life into the fashion world.

During the nearly hour-long spectacle, the runway was packed with well-known faces, including Paris Jackson, Irina Shayk, the Hadids, Winnie Harlow, drag queen Violet Chachki, queen of burlesque Dita Von Teese and many more. It started with the designer’s take on cut-outs, where models literally sported garments that were worn in front of their bodies and not on them. Ensued a welcome flood of corsets, generous chiffon skirts, suede, Gothic lace, ballet pointe shoes and – some, highly expected, cone brassieres.

Peppered in was some Irish dancing, nudity, a blow-up sex doll costume, as diverse a cast of models as one would only expect from Gaultier, the innovator of inclusivity.

As Boy George was closing the show with another song, the cast, and the fans cheered on the French designer as he skipped, clapped and danced along the runway, blowing a string of kisses and receiving back the applause that, in a sense, signified an end of an era, but, according to Gaultier, not a full stop, as he promised that “Haute Couture will continue with a new concept.”

“I have a new concept. I’ll tell you all about it later … all the little secrets” relayed the designer in his titillating message. We are, naturally, staying tuned.