Pacific Jean Paul Gaultier – Spring/Summer 2012

There is a natural confidence and willingness to take risks that comes with the experience and success of couturier.  A daring to channel the dark recesses of one’s right brain to create unique yet wearable new pieces using a mix of materials, patterns, and prints that nobody’s ever dreamed of.  The French Breton-clad Fashion Czar had just recently kicked-off his international five-city retrospective Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier tour and was back in Paris to present his bold new collection on Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week.

In unconventionally modest Gaultier fashion, a modest Spring/Summer 2012 production featured an eclectic mix of tailored looks inspired by the Pacific West Coast, Southern French Riviera, and Scotland Highlands.  Californian beach prints found in a matching jacket, dress shirt and trouser ensemble brought back memories of 1980s Ocean Pacific.  Kitschy Hawaiian floral prints ripped from tourist T-shirts were reworked into dress shirts, trousers, and sports jackets.  Tailored plaids, window-plane checks, houndstooth and printed tweeds looked playful when mixed with jean jackets, floral shirts, and sneakers.  The styling saw sports jackets tucked into trousers, tuxedo pants replaced with shorts, and relaxed pinstriped suits married up with leather biker jackets and plimsolls.

An eruption of creativity and styling brilliance, SS12 Gaultier is about deconstructing sophisticated tailoring and having some fun with it.  Great finale featuring classic Gaultier Breton Tees and gingham swimwear.  Save me one of those doiley-cut dress shirts please.

Jean Paul Gaultier SS12


The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has developed and produced the first international exhibition devoted to celebrated French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier and the man himself was in town last week to take it all in.  More of a contemporary installation than a fashion retrospective, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk features 140 ensembles and numerous documents, is particularly innovative in the theatrical mise en scène and multimedia approach provided by UBU/Compagnie de création’s animated mannequins.

Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

Photo c/o William Mazzoleni

Gaultier launched his first prêt‐à‐porter collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997. Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible by the press from the time of his first runway shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades. Very early, his avant‐garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up – with invariable good humour – established societal and aesthetic codes.

“I think the way people dress today is a form of artistic expression. Saint Laurent, for instance, has made great art. Art lies in the way the whole outfit is put together. Take Jean Paul Gaultier. What he does is really art,” said Andy Warhol (Mondo Uomo, 1984).

Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

Photo c/o Natacha Gysin

Initiated, developed, produced and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to mark the 35th anniversary of the designer’s own label, this exploration of Jean Paul Gaultier’s creative world has been organized in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, which provided the Museum with exclusive access to its archives. Following its presentation in Montreal (June 17 – October 2, 2011), the exhibition will embark on an international tour, with presentations at the Dallas Museum of Art (November 13, 2011 ‐ February 12, 2012), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young (March 24 ‐ August 19, 2012), the Fundación Mapfre – Instituto de Cultura, Madrid (September 26 – November 18, 2012), and the Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands (February 9 – May 12, 2013).  For more photos please visit the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

Digital Print c/o Stéphane Sednaoui

Dancers After 5:15: Paul Hardy Fall/Winter 2011 Women’s Collection

Chiffons, ruffles, skater skirts, and feather dresses.  They lept off the Rodarte costume racks of the Black Swan set and onto the catwalks this year.  Designers including Celine, J. Mendel, The Blonds, Oscar de la Renta, and Ruffian, have all embraced characteristics of ballet fashion into their recent collections.  Even exiled designer John Galliano channeled the great Tatar ballerino Rudolf Nureyev for his FW11 Men’s Collection.  Canadian Calgary-based fashion designer, jewellery designer, and World Vision humanitarian Paul Hardy’s Women’s FW11 Collection is no exception.

Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker once compared Paul’s talent to that of Marc Jacob’s or Stella McCartney.  He’s also been on the receiving end of praise by celebrity stylist Philip Bloch, The New York Post, Elle Canada, and Flare Magazine.  It’s All Style To Me was lucky enough to be invited to see Hardy’s latest collection at the National Ballet School of Canada and speak to the designer after the show.

“The inspiration for the collection was really based on dancers during their training and their off hours – when people don’t really see them on stage,” explained Hardy.  “The quirky combination of clothes that they put together from whatever they pulled out of the laundry that day.”  In parallel, Hardy was also inspired by the style of 1980s Canadian documentary Flamenco At 5:15 by Cynthia Scott.  This Oscar-winning short film is an impressionistic record of a flamenco dance class given to senior students of the National Ballet School of Canada after regular class hours, hence 5:15, which was also when the doors opened for the fashion show.

The FW11 collection featured mainly metallic grey pieces accessorized in hosiery and numbered bowling shoes from the local Ballroom Bowlerama.  The bowling shoes paired with the young, sporty, ponytailed models, created a very cool casual feel to the collection.  The black on grey metallic prints were beautiful, as was the window-pane suit and check dress.  Hardy’s low-cut blouses draped over the models with a welcomed dose of sexiness.  The lightweight silk feather dresses, feather pencil skirts, and feather hoodies were simply out of this world.  Surprised to see him shy on the fur and shearling and sadly, he left us poor boys out in the cold this season.  Hardy’s take on the ballet/dance fashion trend has taken a refreshing direction.  The result is an innovative, wearable, and nowhere near as formal or costume-like collection as some of his contemporaries.  Something that will prove to work in his favour.  For fashion show photos, please visit the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page.  For more information on Paul Hardy, please visit

Paul Hardy FW11

Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011 – Men’s Top 20 Picks

Paris FW11 Top 20

Below is a list of the It’s All Style To Me Top 20 Picks (semi-alphabetical order) from the FW11 Men’s Collections Paris Fashion Week, January 19-23, 2011:

1) Acne – Jeans, Boots, and Mash-up Destination Themed Printed Shirts

2) Dior Homme – Jagged Neckline Sweaters

3) Dries Van Noten – Fur-lined Sports Jackets and Coats

4) Louis Vuitton – Motel Red Accessories (Glasses, Scarves, Bags)

5) Louis Vuitton – Belted Knit Herringbone Cardigan and Orange Gloves

6) Hermès – Chunky “H” Knit Turtleneck in Mustard Yellow or Baby Blue

7) Jean Paul Gaultier – Black, Grey, and Gold Quilted Leather Motorcycle Pants

8) Jean Paul Gaultier – Black James Bond Tuxedo

9) Paul Smith – Light Knit Cardigans and Offset Duffel Coat

10) Junya Watanabe – Nordic/Fair Isle Print Sports Jackets

11) Mr. by Roland Mouret – Single Centre Pleated Pants

12) Mugler – Padded Pants

13) John Galliano – Entire Suit Collection and Silk Scarves

14) Viktor & Rolf – Check Patterned Suit

15) Raf Simons – Patterned Sweaters

16) Yigal Azrouël – Knit Sweaters and Cardigans

17) Kenzo – High Waisted Pants and Patterned Sweaters and Sweater Vests

18) Lanvin – Loose Knit V-Necked Sweater, Slim Fit Pants, Shoes

19) Maison Martin Margiela – Outerwear

20) Yves Saint Laurent – Check Plaid Suits, Pants, and Jackets

Paul Smith Men’s Collection Fall/Winter 2011

London werewolf in Paris?  Not quite, but with the massive full moon, furs, and one bearded beast of a model, one would think so.  The FW11 collection is inspired by the music of the late Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.  The free association led Smith to thinking about artistic freedom, hence Frank’s daughter Moon Zappa, hence the full moon, hence the late 60s Space Odyssey 2001 theme.  Now that’s some serious free association.

The show kicked off with a silver, puffy, quilted parka that was one NASA logo and space helmet short of a space suit.  Orange linings, cosmic prints, and pants with synthetic horizontal demarcations on the thighs and zippers across the shins reinforced this theme.  The fashion show wasn’t all cosmic, as it did switched gears with the introduction of animal prints that would make Cavalli proud.  Double-breasted pin/chalk stripped suits, offset duffel coats, loose cardigans, angora sweaters, oversized coats (common theme of Paris FW11), and a healthy mix of colours peppered the runway.

The pants seemed to have high waists, accentuated by low slung skinny belts.  Dessert goggles and rolled beanies made their début, as did large polka dots.  One of the more inclusive collections with a lot of variety,  Paul Smith succeeded in creating something for everyone.

Paul Smith FW11

*Apologies for the current embedded video.  It will be replaced by the full fashion show video soon.

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