paris autumn winter 07 08

Gaultier's Flying Scotsman
by Timothy Hagy | photographed by Yannis Vlamos

Some years ago, the Guardian UK published an informative exposé on the Friday night Flying Scotsman, the express train that links London with Edinburg overnight. Groups of men habitually poured on to it, and the smoke-fest bacchanal that followed resulted in a strange mixing of male bonding and sex that alarmed British rail officials to the point that conductors refused to work the shift.

The Jean Paul Gaultier collection, shown on Tuesday, was an ode to Scotland, replete with every flourish except a bagpipe. What would the Clan McGregor think of their pristine tartan stitched full of unctuous mink, their traditional kilts overlaid with a bondage-inspired mesh face mask, or of the crocheted body suit swirling with a mammary enhancing star burst, an ornament the likes of which have not been seen at Gaultier since MadonnaÕs breast cones? Order another whiskey.

This was excellent work for Gaultier, and in a departure from past seasons, he took his signature style to a fresh level. Jean Paul said backstage afterwards that he wanted to present Scots as slightly more tribal, almost barbarian. It was a case of mixing fancy and fantasy, a little like getting lost in the corridor of the Flying Scotsman in the wee hours before dawn. Heaven only knows what you might find.


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