Sunday, 16 February 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier: Butterfly Burlesque

Another season, another Butterfly themed collection floats down the catwalk, this time courtesy of one time fashion 'enfant terrible' Jean Paul Gaultier for his Spring/Summer 2014 Haute Couture collection. He had already used a butterfly motif on prints in one of his collections from last year, but he has really gone all out with the theme in this collection recently showcased in Paris.

Gaultier was apparently inspired to create the collection after a visit to London and seeing mounted butterflies in a shop. "I was thinking about colours and fabrics and what they could be, and then I kept seeing the shape (of the butterfly), and saw that it could be a body - everything was like a dress". Click on the pictures below to see this demonstrated in detail. Some of the designs seem a little kitsch, I guess this is for maximum impact on the catwalk, but they are a real testament to the skills required of dressmakers in haute couture.

Gaultier does admit though, (as I guess everybody would who works with butterflies), that beautiful as his designs are, they could not compete with the real things and Nature. "What's incredible are these blue butterflies, they're almost metallic blue and then on the back they're almost leopard. It's stunning!"

For the last part of  his show Gaultier gave the models the title of "Papillons de Paris", and dressed them to reflect the glamorous show girls of Parisian nightlife who add spice to such nightspots as the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergere.

The showstopping finale of the show featured the ultimate showgirl - the lovely Miss Dita Von Teese in a stunning Morpho butterfly corset dress created to accentuate and complement her unbelievably tiny 22 inch waist. Lovely detail in the last picture below.