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Old 14th October 2005   #11
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Gaultier's Pastoral Symphony

My only wish is that Crystal had been just a little fuller-figured for this show. Otherwise, everything about the event - from the theme, to the environment, to her gorgeous dress - was perfect.

I'm also very much intrigued by the idea that a runway show can have a "program," rather like a ballet. In fact, the first thing I thought of, when I read that show description juxtaposed with the images, was the program of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony - or to give the work its full title:

"Pastoral Symphony; or Recollection of life in the country"

The composer gave each of the movements a textual description, which together comprise a program for the whole sympony:

I. Awakening of cheerful feelings on arriving in the country
II. Scene by the brook
III. Merry gathering of the country folk
IV. Thunderstorm; storm
V. Shepherd's song; happy and thankful feelings after the storm

There is no wedding mentioned specifically, but the "Merry gathering of country folk" certainly implies a festival, or ceremony.

I don't know what music accompanied the show, if any, but I can hear Beethoven when I look at those lovely images.
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Old 17th October 2005   #12
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Crystal Renn on the runway for Gaultier

The comparison to the program of the Sixth is quite interesting, although a reader has provided us with a link to a (very) short video segment from French television about this runway event. Crystal does not appear in the all-too-brief clip, but it does give a sense of the tone of the show as a whole--vibrant, life-affirming, and free of irony--and indicates that the actual background music was, fittingly, a Ukrainian folk tune performed on a balalaika.

- Click here to view the short video clip

Apparently, Jean-Paul Gaultier has traditionally been considered something of an enfant terrible of the French fashion industry--the most radical member of a company of radicals. How interesting, then, that he, of all designers, should have been the one who finally integrated the two anti-modern cultural streams that we frequently discuss on this forum: (1) the renewed interest in the cultural heritage of the West (represented by the show's folkloric elements), and (2) a reawakened appreciation of the Classical figure (embodied in Crystal's presence). These two developments had thus far been running concurrently but independently of each other, yet their merging was natural and logical.

(Lesser artists would have reduced the debut of the fuller female figure on the runway to a circus sideshow, or gone to the other extreme, and chosen models of such faux-plus proportions that their arrival would have passed by unnoticed--or at best inspired bemused indifference rather than a "revolution.")

Perhaps only an erstwhile enfant terrible could have made the imaginative leap that Gaultier made, in reconfiguring the aesthetic environment of a runway show to reflect a truly pre-modern aesthetic, and in showcasing full-figured femininity in such a timeless way.

Another reverse-view, giving a better sense of the magnificent train of Crystal's dress (and note the straw deliberately placed in her tousled hair):

- An exemplary recording of Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony . . .

Last edited by HSG : 17th October 2005 at 23:18.
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