Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2024

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2024

Nicolas Di Felice's Fall/Winter 2024 Haute Couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier presented a minimalist and provocative take on the house's heritage, using hook-and-eyes and corseted silhouettes to redefine Parisian fashion.
June 28, 2024

The wait for the Jean Paul Gaultier Fall/Winter 2024 Haute Couture show was sweltering, both literally and figuratively. Guests stewed in the heat, pondering the tightly packed runway and the enigmatic purpose behind it. As the first models emerged, Nicolas Di Felice, the house’s latest guest couturier, unveiled his vision: a stark departure from Gaultier’s usual flamboyant theatricality.

Di Felice, known for his provocative designs at Courrèges, favored a minimalist approach. Slender, corseted silhouettes dominated the collection, adorned with tiny hook-and-eye closures that demanded close inspection to be noticed. This echoed his Courrèges aesthetic, where sexuality was explored through suggestive reveals and exposed skin. Black fabrics, tightly wrapped around the body, replaced the usual explosion of prints and colors associated with Gaultier.

The show opened with a dramatic flourish. Towering collars obscured the models’ faces, while others wore offbeat eyewear with black fabric or dense lace replacing lenses. This evoked memories of Gaultier’s 1991 collection, where models were shrouded head-to-toe in houndstooth, even clutching cigarette holders. Di Felice offered a more abstract take on Gaultier’s legacy of corsets and lingerie. Hook-and-eyes became a recurring motif, holding together pants, adorning gowns, and even forming an airy chainmail dress.

Di Felice explained his focus on a lesser-known side of Gaultier: “We always see the same archetypes… I tried to work on things that people know less about.” He delved into the archives, discovering Gaultier’s use of monochromatic silhouettes. Di Felice also aimed to redefine Parisian fashion, a city where, in his words, “you can come to Paris and be who you want.” He admitted his disinterest in the usual couture extravagance, a stark contrast to Gaultier’s love for feathers, velvet, and elaborate embellishments.

The resulting collection leaned heavily towards Di Felice’s own style. While Jean Paul Gaultier himself offered a thumbs-up, acknowledging elements of his past work reinterpreted for a modern audience, the collection lacked the flamboyant spirit that defined Gaultier’s legacy.

Read more: Jean Paul Gaultier taps Courrèges’ Nicolas Di Felice as next guest couturier

©Photo: Jean Paul Gaultier