Join Date: July 2005
Re: Crystal Renn on the runway for Gaultier
Further to the various interpretations that have been offered here regarding the symbolism and theme of this event, we chanced upon the following bit of text at a Paris fashion site. It appears to be an English translation of the official program description that accompanied Gaultier's show:
"All sorts of people, from the maid of honor to gents and children, rush to a wedding in the country, a place for a celebration, with straw on the ground and in the hair. With a bride opening the show in a dress made of straw and embroidered blouses, inspired by the East [i.e., Eastern Europe], teamed with perfectly tailored suits, Jean-Paul Gaultier takes us to a festive and joyous world next summer. The famous marinières are back, the underskirts are voluminous and the light chiffon and tulle dresses follow each other right up to the last run, presented with a full-bodied top, sublime in a tulle sheath embroidered with flowers."
So, if one takes this official statement as definitive, it was a depiction of a folk celebration--and the context of a marriage ceremony is particularly significant. The traditional concept of marriage is nothing less than the bedrock of society, the central rite of all Western cultures, so for a Parisian runway show to be celebrating this institution, in its most organic form, is as boldly unmodern a move on the designer's part as one could possibly imagine.
The reference to "full-bodied" is also noteworthy, as it confirms the fact that having the show climax with a Classical goddess was not an afterthought, but was part of the conceptual structure of the event.
Aesthetically and thematically, this show was at the leading edge of the cultural revival that is transforming contemporary society.
A rare reverse-view photo, showing the princess-like (indeed, bridal-like) train of Crystal's incredible gown: