Paris Fashion: Gaultier takes Rihanna into space
Rihanna - AP Photo/Thibault Camus

PARIS: The host of an eccentric Jean Paul Gaultier show promised guests a trip into outer space with catwalk attendee Rihanna at Paris Fashion Week. Though guests’ hopes were eventually dashed when the superstar left on foot through the emergency exit, this was surely the highlight of Saturday’s ready-to-wear shows.

But Vivienne Westwood, who hosted hers in an incense-filled church, and showed exposed breasts while branding the altar with a dazzling “W,” came a close second.

Here are details from the day of fall-winter collections.


From older, silver-haired model Catherine Loewe to children who also trod his catwalk, fashion egalitarian Jean Paul Gaultier clearly likes to represent all colors of the rainbow.

Just take the show’s front row: Singer Rihanna applauded with a black and white Gaultier fur wrap alongside plus-size lesbian Beth Ditto, the singer from band Gossip.

It was reassuring in an industry that showcases mainly thin and young white girls.

“The casting was amazing to do like that, having people very different to one another,” said Gaultier, after the show.

“They’re different types of beauty,” he added.

Ditto, meanwhile, said. “I enjoy the fashion industry more than the music industry, as there are more eccentrics. Gaultier comes from the heart. It’s body beautiful, just like this is,” she said, and the star did a body roll.


Jean Paul Gaultier needs to take his foot off the warp drive.

In terms of spectacle, the credentials of the galactic fall-winter show cannot be denied, inside an Oscar Niemeyer futurist building, with Star-Trek-style automatic doors. Then there was the host, who asked guests to fasten seatbelts and promised an interstellar vacation with Rihanna. Who could ask for more?

But mixing space age with the Union Jack?

The iconic French couturier left people confounded in a show which did produce some beautiful looks.

In the space-age first half, with models sporting vertical bobs like antennae, there was some cool piping-styles and a great pair of sheer green PVC pants.

Then came a punk section, several infant models with a mother, and a grand finale that produced some fairly unoriginal but fastidiously executed garments featuring the British flag.

It felt a little lost in space.

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