Gaultier walks on the wild side at Haute Couture show

PARIS (Reuters) – Models stormed the runway in animal prints, neon dresses and designs that played with optical illusions at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture collection on Wednesday, set to a banging 1990s euro dance soundtrack.

Gaultier – who joined the fur-free trend late last year at a time when brands like Burberry or Gucci are also dropping pelts – evoked an array of wildlife with animal prints including a panther coat and geometric, zebra-striped dresses.

In a warm, party atmosphere, the audience – which included U.S. pop singer Christina Aguilera – cheered on French model Cindy Bruna, dressed in a pleated aniseed-coloured chiffon dress and Coco Rocha in her monochrome dress and vest, a mix of wool and a python pattern.

Notable stand-outs included a quilted cape made of neon green satin, laid on the model’s head like a tent, oversized long collars used as sleeveless jackets and enormous, faux-fur chapka hats.

Presented in Gaultier’s Paris headquarters, the collection included dresses with endless dots of color, creating the optical illusion of movement.

Fashion designer Alber Elbaz and the French actress Catherine Deneuve also hogged the front row.

Gaultier, whose brand is owned by Spanish perfumer Puig, chose to stop his pret-a-porter line, usually a more profitable segment of the fashion market, to focus only on Haute Couture Week as well as his perfume ranges.

Haute Couture week, a celebration of one-of-a-kind outfits and fashion craftsmanship, runs until July 4.

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