Gaultier Strongarms the Almighty Dollar

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Published January 29, 2009

Leave it to Jean Paul Gaultier to find the perfect pas de deux for his Spring couture collection: A mise à mort of surreal toreadors sobered up couture in black, white and grey, embellished with arabesque calligraphy cribbed from the almighty dollar. The graphic shapes in intricate combinations of black satin, sharp 80s tailoring, corsets and mixed up laces looked like mad pen and ink drawings come to life. But the best part of the show was Ines de la Fressange, 51, France’s top model in the 1980s and the one time face of Marianne, the national emblem of the French republic. De la Fressange hasn’t walked in years, but she’s as lanky and nimble as ever, managing to slide out of a skin-tight couture jacket and run away from JPG when he tried to grab her for the finale. Kylie Minogue,  who has worked with Gaultier on her tour costumes for years, gushed after the show, “He’s a master tailor; it’s beautiful and so sexy.” Minogue looked hardly tame herself in a second-skinpant suit worn with a nude body stocking. Gaultier has always championed diverse beauty in his shows: Speaking of the few buxom babes on his runway this season he said he wanted to show, “there’s an alternative to anorexic 14-year-olds.”