Jean Paul Gaultier doesn’t do anything half-assed. So when I say he brought new meaning to the word “catwalk,” you can believe it. His 2013 Couture collection (which was presented in Paris on July 3) takes the name “Woman as Predator,” and the wild cat has long been a symbol of feminine prowess. Leopards, panthers, cougars (and thankfully not the ones of the single-and-ready-to-mingle variety), and lionesses roamed down the runway, but all of these unapologetic spots were not to be outshone by the other theme of the collection: crystals. About 1,843,272 Swarovski crystals, to be exact.
Gaultier has used Swarovski crystals since founding his Paris atelier in 1982, and over 30 years later, he stays true to his powerhouse-glam aesthetic (even if it does feel rather outdated today). Hair sculptures, exaggerated pillbox hats, fur trim galore, nipped waists and voluminous hips and shoulders: you register Gaultier right off the bat. While his melding of crystals and embroidery on tulles, silks, and leathers makes for unprecedented detailing, such intricacies are difficult to absorb when the levels of flash and showmanship are so high. The same goes for the clutches, from the neutral and angular to the crystal-laden. A flamboyant creative like Jean-Paul Gaultier just goes to remind us: a leopard doesn’t change its spots.