Paris Menswear Autumn/Winter 07/08

Jean Paul Puts His Hair Up
By Timothy Hagy, Paris Editor

PARIS, January 29, 2007 - Jean Paul Gaultier is certainly a designer who knows how to let his hair down. He's like a breath of fresh air that ruffles the stuffy world of high fashion. Before his show began on Monday at high noon, Ms. H., of The Times, cornered, Mr. R., of Vanity Fair, engaging him in a long, mysterious conversation that, from all appearances, was of weighty importance. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Ms. H's last couture article rated seven places below a fluf piece on eating Vegan on The Times most popular list, before dropping off the charts completely within hours. Maybe it was because the real world has moved far faster than the hermetically sealed world of fashion. That conversation must remain between the two of them.

Meanwhile, across the aisle, Mr. B., of, looked pained as he made room for the ever-increasingly rotund, Ms. M., of the Tribune. Let's leave them to their uncomfortable placement.

All of that matters for very little, given that Jean Paul Gaultier has a finger on the pulse of the times. Judging from the playful collection he sent down the runway, he knows what kids of today are looking for. The boys came with a wild coif and fake sideburns, sporting tapered jackets, collars turned up to reveal a leather insert, overcoats trimmed in calf skin, and razor-cut coats that were notable for their youthful pizzaz. One nice skirt was worn atop sparkling copper leggings while another, with pleats, swished at the top of a pair of leather boots. For evening, lurex suits and mohair jackets alternated with a ravishing mink stole worn with gold lamé.

Backstage, Jean Paul, who himself donned a flowing gray wig and held a bottle of hairspray, explained, "I always liked going to the coiffure."

Guests filing out of the show might have noticed the large window that looks down into the changing areas. Boys stripped to basic nothing, then with each downward step, slowly vanished into obscurity. Now that's hot!


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