PFW | Hermes | John Paul Gaultier
Always with a playful flair for the theatrical, designer Jean Paul Gaultier celebrated his final show with Hermes with a stunning collection and of course, in a nod to the house's leather-working saddle-maker history, dressage horses at the end of the catwalk!
And when show-goers could drag their eyes off the gorgeous (and very well-behaved) horses, Gaultier treated them to a fashion feast - one of his very finest - with models hitting the runways in equestrian garb of luxe proportions.
Rich, buttery leather was a strong theme, exquisitely tailored into jackets, trousers and shorts, jodhpurs were made wearable in deep silks and even mixed into jumpsuits with suede thigh-patches.
Gaultier added his signature risqué sparkle to the collection with waistcoats worn over bare skin and thick leather corsets giving rise to gasps of appreciation from the crowd.
Eveningwear was catered for in long, floaty chiffon dresses and capes, long length leather plunge-neck dresses and elegant trouser suits.
The palette was a rich mix of delicious leathery tans, rusts, toffees and caramel creams, moving into deeper, brighter oranges through to evening black.
With a distinctly Argentinean theme, models wore wide brimmed hats and carried riding crops. 'It's Argentina, it was all about the Pampa. It's beautiful, it's sexy, it's tango!' said Gaultier after the show.
The show to end all shows - not only was Hermes the last collection to show at Paris Fashion Week, it also marked an end to Gaultier's iconic tenure at the fashion house.
Speaking to press, Gaultier said: 'Of course I'm a little sad, just like after any show. It's the end of a wonderful love story of seven years. It's fantastic because its finishing well on a good collection.'
Running down the runway carrying a single red rose, Gaultier looked genuinely moved by the rapturous applause. Making way for designer Christopher Lemaire who joins the label from Lacoste, we can't wait to see what the new direction for Hermes will be next season.
By Tara Gardner