The extraordinary Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2014 collection is based around his saying that ‘Life is a butterfly!’ A riot of fanciful colors and shapes recalls the Parisienne chic of the Folies Bergère.
The papillons noirs (black butterflies) are striking designs: vast batwing sleeves, slimline skirts and pants, black over-the-elbow gloves, fishnet tights and various butterfly masks or headdresses. Waists come cinched into a central knot; skirts are mostly just above the knee.
Wide lapels and padded shoulders feature in the jackets. For contrast there are cream jackets with matching butterfly head-dresses, or a turquoise shirt with full, floaty sleeves, worn with a turquoise and black feathery hat and black toreador-style pants. Bright red also features.
Other vivid colors abound. A gorgeous purplish-blue dress, slim fitting and with a sweeping stole effect covering the upper chest and arms, leaves a strip of bare flesh between neck and bodice. Ankles are often bound in ribbons of a matching hue.
A neat salmon pink blouse has a huge butterfly outlined in back and cream at the centre, a smaller one on the shoulder and another on a necklace: a butterfly family. A seductress dress in deep pink has black contouring on the bodice, and a swathe of black decoration down a pink satin skirt. An elegant pink off-the-shoulder dress is covered in a black net surcoat tied at the throat with a huge black bow and with an extravagant black hem. Other styles reference the kimono, catsuit, minidress and tutu. Colors are shimmering, brilliant, iridescent; favored fabrics are satin and net.
The ‘wedding dress’ is a vast cocoon of whitish net on the head falling to a veil, the ‘dress’ being a white lace bodysuit with white fishnet tights and a bouquet of net-cocooned butterflies.
The overall effect of this huge collection is quite overwhelming. The Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2014 collection reaches new heights of theatrical display and jaw-dropping invention.
Photo credit : WWD