Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Fall 2024 Paris Runway Show Photos


The guest designer gigs at Jean Paul Gaultier are always one of the highlights of haute couture week. The label’s eponymous founder created some of the most memorable looks in fashion over the past four decades, from sailor stripe tops and men in skirts to the original ringarde Eiffel Tower merch. Since 2020, when Gaultier retired and decided to hand the proverbial keys to a brain trust of today’s brightest talents on a rotating seasonal basis, it’s been a delight to see the various ways in which designers from Sacai’s Chitose Abe and Y/Project’s Glenn Martens to Rabanne’s Julien Dossena and Simone Rocha have reinterpreted his archive. Today, Courrège’s Nicolas Di Felice took his seat in the director’s chair—and turned his attention toward the label’s iconic corsets.

Throughout his career, Gaultier gleefully flirted with bad taste. When he famously dressed Madonna in a satin cone bra corset for her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, he transformed underwear from something that must remain hidden into a high fashion garment—and emblem of empowerment. Watching the Queen of Pop on TV as a young queer boy growing up in rural Belgium, Di Felice was hooked. “I think that for so many people, queer people, different people, he paved the road,” Di Felice said of the French designer backstage after the show. “He was really showing, okay, you can come to Paris and be who you want.” More than half of the 33 looks in Di Felice’s fall 2024 Jean Paul Gaultier collection feature corsets—though there’s not a cone bra among them. Instead, he’s created all manner of hybrid garments, like a corseted coat in jet-black wool crepe, a corset-bodysuit in chalk-white horsehair and chiffon, and a corset dress in ecru cotton canvas.

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Part of the magic of Di Felice’s work at the Space Age label Courrèges is the way he transforms simple geometric shapes into wonderfully experimental volumes, like a poncho cut from a triangle or a shift dress fashioned from two circles. He applied some of the same tricks here, on the Square biker jacket and Rectangle dress cut from single quadrilateral pieces of napa leather and organza. The former features a dramatic face-obscuring funnel neck, and the latter what he calls a “Hyper-Square” neckline that stands upright of its own accord thanks to underwired gazar. (The lengthened, face-obscuring necklines were everywhere in this collection. The message behind the extreme look? Being queer forces some to wear a mask before revealing their true identities, Di Felice explained. “The people are anonymous in the beginning, they are all hidden.”) Couture clothing traditionally features intricate beading, embroidery, and featherwork, but in keeping with Di Felice’s minimalist sensibility, the only embellishment in the collection are the hook-and-eye closures used to fasten corsets. Upon closer inspection, what appears to be a paillette/encrusted tulle sheath dress is actually a composition of 42,000 individually hand-sewn clasps.

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Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images
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