Mode & Design (2011)

Bourgeoise sans âge

  • Jean-Paul Gaultier
  • Mode & Design, Montreal, Aug. 2011.

At last week’s Festival Mode & Design Montreal, time stood still for 40 solid minutes as our Gaultier-loving city made fashion history. Thousands of spectators who had gathered around the massive downtown catwalk watched some of his Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection in awe, while Jean Paul Gaultier’s cast of eccentric models strut their stuff under a celestial tent of summer stars…

If I’m waxing poetic, it’s because this was a big deal. Fashion followers know that the Couture King/pop culture icon doesn’t normally show his collections in North America, never mind Canada. So, yes, this was a moment. Technically, Gaultier wasn’t here in the flesh, but in his place was none other than his longtime muse and collaborator Tanel Bedrossiantz – or simply Tanel – who had flown in from Paris.

The show was a colourful mix of his La bourgeoisie sans age (“Ageless bourgeoisie”) Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection, combined with some memorable pieces from past seasons and haute couture borrowed from the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal‘s exhibit The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”. And yes Madonna’s famous cone-bra dress made a happy cameo.

The runway drama began with a James Bond theme, and then took on a nostalgic feel when the soundtrack switched to a medley of Amy Winehouse songs – her voice symbolically absent. In the air, however, a love and appreciation for JPG was palpable as crowds ohhhed and ahhhhed.