PARIS: From Madonna to Michael Jackson, Grace Jones to Sade: Jean-Paul Gaultier paid tribute to the pop and style icons of the 1980s over the weekend with a rebelliously joyful collection for next spring.“Just because there’s an economic crisis, doesn’t mean we all have to act all miserable, and show depressing clothes,” the designer joked with reporters after the show, midway through Paris Fashion Week.
“Why should it all be about minimalism? There’s room for joy as well.”
Stiletto-heeled dancers shimmied around on a decor of scaffolding, mirrored balls hanging from the ceiling, to one 1980s hit after another, as the models stepped out – all cast as lookalikes of a pop icon.
First was “Grace Jones” in a tuxedo – reworked Gaultier style as a sleeveless pantsuit.
A whole series of “Madonnas” walked out, first in a dominatrix cage-dress, then evolving toward the lingerie-inspired look of the pop diva’s “Like-a-Virgin” era.
“Boy George” was an excuse for a series of Japanese-inspired print dresses and pants.
“Sade” wore sleek dresses of woven black raffia, while “Michael Jackson” burst on stage in shiny perfecto jackets worn over bright little bikinis, tilting his hat and grabbing his crotch in true king-of-pop style.
“In the ’80s there were all these crazy looks, whereas nowadays it’s all about copying what others are doing, kind of like clones,” Gaultier said.
The designer said his collection was about “people who had an influence on fashion, just as I was personally influenced by David Bowie in his way of being and dressing.”
“Madonna was the post-feminist, what came after the bra-burning years. She said ‘Yes, I am going to dress sexy, but I am the one deciding to do it.’
“Boy George with his totally ambiguous look and songs like ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,’ was also making a statement.
“They all had a look, but also an aesthetic that made people sit up and react.”a