By Christine Suppes
Paris, July 8th - Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko, the wife of the president of Ukraine was the guest of honor at Jean Paul Gaultier’s spirited and very personal show. Inspired by folkloric costume, particularly the braided hair and the floral motif of the Ukraine, Mr. Gaultier wove a spell of delicious euphoria for furs and velvet, silver and gold embroidered tunics, tassles, every fabulous couture touch imaginable, and the outcome succeeded. A full fox fur skirt worn with a long black tunic and a floral embroidered scarf did not feel over the top. A poll taken following the show revealed that three couture clients were lusting after the same rich blue velvet tunic heavily embroidered in silver. More and more, it seems that Mr. Gaultier is providing the most singular haute couture moment of each season. He retains his touch for the dandy, this season showing a long black suit with a white flowing ruffled blouse, and of course the trench coat, with which his name is now synonymous. But who could resist the soft red jacquard and floral appliquéd coat, trimmed in sable? This was a revelatory collection, and it is clear that Mr. Gaultier certainly has a steady supply of imagination, wit and daring. His color sense is mind-boggling. He is obviously the heir to the throne of Yves Saint Laurent, which savvy insiders predicted years ago---his own throne that is.