There are many ways to express a story, a theme or an idea. Lately and clearly my favourite media has been through fashion and making outfits to convey a certain thought and feeling. Although being left behind in dusty 2007, nearly six years ago now Jean Paul Gaultier's supreme reign of torrential goddesses rings clear in my mind. In the past there have been calls for Couture collections to be erased from the fashion industry, left to fade into obscurity due to a lack of consumerism but it's gorgeous moments like these captured above that make me want to avidly wave the flag and fight for the preservation of glorious and golden pieces. And of course the pictures they in turn produce- because living at home I cannot afford such wondrous garments from hallmark stores, sizes on eBay aren't carried for a size 12 like me and in my wildest dreams I fear they're unreachable stars too. Being a very pessimistic person I think I'm "too old" to become a master dress-maker as well- a giant bucket of negativity I believe but cutting out images from magazines brings me joy and maybe I'll make a paper doll version of things like this one day. I have the hunger and urge to get closer to this awe-inspiring collection and acknowledge it with my own hand and design, in the nicest way possible and without making a massacre of the job.
Some excerpts from an old Vogue have been hanging over and haunting my walls for the last year or so, but now feels like the right time to discuss the amazing ideas Jean Paul Gautier expresses so eloquently in this collection. The finery and close up details of embroidery, sequins, tulle and satin are all balanced together as carefully as Egyptian god Maat, but there are definitely Anglo-Saxon and Caucasian inspirations for the godly creatures that appear towards the tail end of the show. I think the story told is the evolution of someone initially immersed in religion, to becoming apart of those very theological ideologies. Much in the same way someone becomes elevated to the status of a martyr in a holy war; or when a nun is canonised to the rank of a saint- the intense tones and colours of superficial human tributes to God like stained glass windows are imitated. There are some amazing crowns and stuff that I would love to think sparked a lot of other clever incorporations into fashion collections such as Meadham Kirchhoff more recently, but these are then later abandoned for more golden tones of wheat and ornate head dresses. From circular halos in simple polished metals we see unearthly shapes mirroring the sun and even miniature stars captured in fine details. It's so magnificent; I wish this whole collection was in a magical museum.
The earlier motifs remind me of when I was absolutely fascinated with the sacred heart and rosaries at this time last year and my Etsy watched list was absolutely clogged with these types of artefacts. I think all religions have really wonderful and beautiful mementos since they're made by people who firmly believe in what they're doing and are passionate to their state of mind but to have it re imagined in the world of Haute Couture and fashion was pretty breath-taking for me. But I wasn't necessarily going to openly wear these rosaries, necklaces or prayer rings in my daily life- it was a secret of mine I planned to shut out in my soul forever. I just felt so phony cosying up to these symbols and motifs since I am not particularly religious and I feel slightly panic-stricken when attending what seems to be inescapable Western culture church venues for weddings and funerals. The songs I mumble to and the awkward imitation of what to do, when to kneel and when to repeat remind me so much that maybe I am a bad person and I hate that so acknowledging I was ignorant to a culture seemed so awful to me.
So to conclude my baby ducks: this is one of the best and most artistic collections I have ever seen. If I had to wear a dress on the red carpet and for any high-publicity event it would be from this selection I have plucked from the entirety of the Couture since I believe them to be particularly majestic and feminine. They're all gowns with straps, modest hemlines and the most wonderful palette of colours for each individual outfit you could possibly imagine. Painters couldn't do justice to portray these photographs and if they did, they might as well be mistaken for grand sights seen in one mind's eye as a miracle. The make-up was gold tinted and applied with razor precision; the tear accents on the cheeks don't look tacky and like the models broke out of jail. It just stirs up so many unexplainable emotions and has such power speaking to the soul: I wish people critiquing fashion would witness stuff of this ilk before passing judgement on an entire society and labelling it as crudely as being shallow.
*All images from Style.com*