Thursday 8th July

| BY Claudia Croft

Gaultier Paris x Sacai: Couture AW21

Gaultier’s spectacular farewell couture show, held just as the pandemic struck, was more of an au revoir than a final goodbye. He took a step back from the catwalk but created a new business model, giving guest designers the keys to his house. Chitose Abe of Sacai was the first. “I gave her complete freedom. I didn’t want to see any of the finished looks,” said Gaultier, who watched from the audience as Abe reinterpreted his icons in spectacular style.

The collection she created was to have been shown last July but was postponed due to the pandemic, something which Abe now sees as a blessing as it gave her more time to work on it. Melding her own hybrid techniques with Gaultier’s couture cannon Abe created a stunning collection. It was Gaultier but seen through a fresh lens. She sculpted crinolined trench dresses with pointy busts, layered deconstructed pinstripes over tattoo bodysuits, melded pink satin corsetry and tailoring (a la Madonna’s Blonde Ambition), repurposed old jeans into sweeping frock coats, created Breton stripes from layer upon layer of tulle and produced a version of the Tibetan themed 1994 look that Björk famously wore on the Gaultier runway.

Into that mix, she added her own signatures, crafting exploded flight jackets into bubble hemmed dresses and capes, and using patchworks of cable knits over tattoo bodysuits. “I’m really very happy with the results. I wanted the collection to be a real synergy between the two brands,” she said.

Photography courtesy of Gaultier Paris.