Jean Paul Gaultier, Winter 2017

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Fashion Show Review

Illustrated and Written by Krista Webster

Jean Paul Gaultier's long awaited Winter 2017 show focuses on ski style, but from an angle of worldly elegance rather than practicality. He predominantly uses a neutral palette, playing with black, white and various shades of warm grays. Often, he integrates bright, bold colors - such as a scarlet red - into many of his pieces.

Gaultier uses his fabric in a variety of ways: sometimes it extends past the body in sharp angles and shapes, and other times it is wrapped tightly around the body. Either way, he succeeds in using the material as a medium to frame the female form in a crisp, avant-garde way. Many pieces have clean lines that are defined by large blocks of intensely contrasting colors, that create a dramatic effect reminiscent of many modern art paintings.

Throughout the collection, Gaultier uses materials and patterns that go along with winter motifs. Argyle sweaters, pom-pom hats and furry boots are abundantly coupled with gradient patterns and embellishments that suggest snow. It's relatively easy to overdo these techniques and make them indistinguishable from the whirl of mass-produced items with overused winter motifs; however, Gaultier employs them in a very intentional, elegant manner.

Gaultier even strays from Western fashion entirely and uses fabric draping around the body and face similar to that of Arab hijabs. Many models wear piercings on both the nose and ears in a Southeastern Asian style. These pieces with small exotic touches also tend to have a very regal essence. As Gaultier enormously spans his stylistic focus with nodes and respect to multi-cultural elements, his consistent use of colors and motifs throughout the collection create some sense of inexplicable unity.