Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2023

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023


The heart of Paris palpitated with anticipation as Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena prepared to present his one-of-a-kind collection for Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023, an alchemical fusion of heritage and innovation.

Seated on the edge of a bubbling pot of fashion aficionados and industry veterans, Gaultier himself leaned into whispered conversations with other luminaries such as Louis Vuitton’s women’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, and Haider Ackermann, the previous season’s guest designer. Amidst the who’s who, the promising young designer, Victor Weinsanto, firmly held his place, representing a bright beacon for the future of Gaultier. Despite the crowding, the lateness, and the heat, everyone in the room was caught in the time machine taking them back to the euphoric, eclectic fashion landscape of the ’90s.

Julien Dossena drew copiously from this nostalgic pool of ‘90s Jean Paul Gaultier, crafting a collection both remarkable and polished. Seamlessly blending Gaultier’s iconic aesthetic with the metallic elements he’d honed over the past decade at Paco Rabanne, Dossena emerged triumphant in the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 show.

Since introducing the guest-designer concept, Gaultier has welcomed innovators like Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Glenn Martens of Y/Project and Diesel, and Chitose Abe of Sacai. These creatives are granted an all-access pass to explore and reinterpret Gaultier’s vast oeuvre, surprising the maestro with their unique expressions.

Indeed, Gaultier’s suggestion was that Dossena delve deeper into his metallic repertoire, a terrain Gaultier himself ventured into sporadically during his illustrious 50-year career. The product of this metallurgical alliance was visible in two striking designs that nostalgically referenced Gaultier’s “Adam & Eve” couples show from 1991. Dossena creatively joined a dress train and a man’s jacket tail to other dresses, using metal as the linchpin.

Mesh intermingled with lingerie lace, anatomical body stockings, and a strapless coat, the latter featuring a metallic print mimicking a bohemian scarf. Another standout was a metal column dress adorned with grids to echo Gaultier’s iconic sailor stripes. The striped motif was also reprised in a gradient transition from fuzzy mohair to full-feathered extravagance.

In an echo of Gaultier’s penchant for channeling real-life characters on his runway, Dossena successfully amplified the urban connection, featuring the sounds of high heels on pavement and ambient traffic noise instead of conventional music. This was Dossena’s heartfelt tribute to the designer who made him, a child from remote Brittany, believe that a career in fashion was attainable.

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