PARIS, October 3, 2007 - In the fall of 1976, Jean Paul Gaultier showed his first ever collection of women's clothes at the Musée de la Découverte - 30 years later he celebrated that occasion with a flamboyant and eclectic show staged in company headquarters on Rue Saint Martin. Beneath steel-gray Paris gloom, visible through the sky lights, a prism of brilliant lime, tangerine and fuchsia creations floated down the catwalk. Building on last summer's men's theme, a backdrop of glitzy sportswear made for the back bone of this futuristic, upbeat collection that was, by all accounts, aimed at the fashionista of tomorrow. Crystal piping chimed, garters fell, and silk skirts billowed as the pieces flowed around the retrospective looks included for nostalgia sake - the cone shaped bustier that Madonna made famous in 1984 probably caught the eye of Janet Jackson, whose own experience with a mammary-enhancing wardrobe is well-documented. Elsewhere, a masculin leather jacket with the number 30 emblazoned on the back made the point clear.

Of special interest was the fact that Gaultier included one XXXL-sized and one mature model among the Paris norm - the 105 or so pound version.

Jean Paul once said that is was Pierre Cardin who took him out of the dream world of fashion magazines and showed him the hard world of the atelier. Nearly a half century later, Gaultier is the driving force behind Paris couture, and the standing ovation he got on Tuesday afternoon was proof that his boundless creativity can still conjure up that same allure.

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