Fashion - July 8, 2022

Paris Couture Week: Olivier Rousteing x Jean-Paul Gaultier, les enfants terribles de la mode

Yesterday’s was, among the days dedicated to couture, undoubtedly the most intense and capable of appealing to the emotional side. The French maison founded in the 1970s by Jean-Paul Gaultier after Chitose Abe and Belgian designer Glenn Martens – meets the creative flair of Olivier Rousteing, who has been the creative mind behind Balmain for a decade.

The imagery of the two enfants terribles de la mode meet and collide in a delightful tale, symbolising and expressing two worlds that are not so far apart. In fact, Rousteing himself has admitted how important the influence of Jean-Paul Gaultier has been for his creativity. Starting from the shapes used, right up to the iconic nude coloured satin telescopic bra worn by Madonna.

Jean-Paul Gaultier has always had a futuristic, eccentric and visionary vision of fashion, taking nods from bygone eras and at the same time breaking many boundaries in the narrative of a new sensuality and inclusivity, destabilising – in times not suspected – even the concept of gender.

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s iconic non-conformist ideas were welcomed by Olivier Rousteing. The creative director of Balmain paying homage to the designer’s work with mannish and marinière looks, cone corsets and beautiful draped dresses.


Among the accessories, the wrist pincushion and the sewing thimble pay homage to tailoring, the craftsmanship of Madame Grès and perhaps also symbolise the early years of Jean-Paul Gaultier’s creative life. In fact, the well-known designer during his career had the opportunity to work with one of the greatest French tailors and couturiers of all time, Pierre Cardin. Also on the catwalk is a full-length reproduction of the famous Le Male perfume bottle, and voluminous bustiers.

Taking up the iconic techniques used by Gaultier, Rousteing revisited many of his most popular creations interacting with a context apparently not his own. Apparently indeed, as the young designer was able to reconstruct Jean-Paul’s aesthetic codes to perfection by giving them his very personal touch. Among the looks on the catwalk we can easily recognise many pieces that can be traced back to the Balmain universe, in the shapes and materials used.


This homage marks a new achievement for Olivier Rousteing, who, at the end of the show, walks down the catwalk flanked by Jean-Paul Gaultier, welcomed by a long applause full of emotion. Olivier – once again – confirms his talent, mastery and skill that we all already knew.

images by IMAXtree

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