PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

There were a lot of “moments” that stemmed from the Jean Paul Gaultier by Olivier Rousteing Haute Couture show. The instantly viral pics of Rousteing’s long time friend Kim Kardashian in cosplay support (complete with chained nose ring) sitting front row, a sumptuous collection that dizzied with reverberated takes on Gaultier’s most famous designs, as well as the captured camaraderie between the Maison’s ingenious founder and his most doting of contemporaries.

Following Gaultier’s retirement in 2020, the label made a conscious decision to break the walls of creative limitation by inviting guest artistic directors to reign over future shows. Rousteing, a disciple of Gaultier’s experimental fashion and renegade history, was tapped to create Haute Couture 2022 after expressing his adoration for the designer.

What followed was a collection so bursting with love and honour for its patriarch that Rousteing had, apparently, more than 100 designs at the ready. Easter eggs from the Gaultier anthology were rife from the start and continued throughout. Menswear began the presentation with a novel take on the tattoo collection of Spring 1994 ‘Les Tatouages’. A punk and pinstripe mash up with decor inspired by by Rousteing’s African heritage. Womenswear opened with a fashioned take on Gaultier fragrance bottles – a tin-can pop skirt paired with Breton stripes. This was followed by wrap gowns with conical belle pointrines and then an illusionary version of Gaultier’s infamous breast-suspender dress as worn by Madonna in 1992.

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

It’s likely that as this particular look emerged, eyes in the room darted to Kim Kardashian who was sitting front row wearing the same. After all, it’s not even the first time this year the polarising celebrity has recreated an iconic female fashion moment. Perhaps this incarnation was a little tame though, given the queen of pop’s original ensemble was a headline-making, nipple-baring piece of avant-garde history.

Many of the pieces featured Rousteing’s signature Balmain cross-hatched architecture, with a lot including Gaultier cones, silver pinstripes and more than a few takes on the marinière t-shirt – the unofficial matelot uniform of the 70-year-old founder. Rousteing also delved into Gaultier’s more machiavellian catalogue with curations of wacky shirts pinned to trousers, exaggerated combed-arch shoulders and wicked post-modern queen gowns replete with trapunto quilting and buoyant construction.

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

The collection also played with the season’s obsession with trompe l’oeil anatomical armour, using beast plates and codpieces as outerwear in a thick, rigid resin for garish drama. His also included two models fitted with waxy cast moulds of pregnant bellies. Though perhaps unintentional, this look was was particularly poignant given the current outrage over the US’s reproductive rights regression.

The collection was anchored by giant creeper flat-form footwear, many cuffed in silver for a tin-can effect, while Rousteing’s admiration for the plethora of ateliers and artisans behind the scenes was honoured via a selection of literal haberdashery motifs – a heart shaped pincushion bodice and dress constructed from reams of seamstress tape, for example.

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

Perhaps, overall, the collection bordered on super-homage, with Rousteing carried away by the spectacular opportunity to dance to Gaultier’s greatest hits. With such a history, however, can you blame him for revelling in the moment and centring his theme on the label’s most iconic designs? As the show closed, both Rousteing and Gaultier took to the Juliet balcony of the monumental building in Paris, waving to the adoring (and exceptionally large) crowd enjoying the live stream and model glimpses below.

This vivacious enthusiasm from the public was perhaps the other most exciting “moment” to emerge. That for a fashion week once widely reported to be passé and irrelevant, a modern outpouring of love seems to be growing. Perhaps the last few seasons with all the digital presentations and live stream alternatives has in fact garnered a brand new excitement, and inclusiveness, for the industry’s most creative event. And, given the dreary news pressed upon us on the daily, realising high fashion is once again reaching the public zeitgeist is reason for celebration.

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) (L-R) Jean-Paul Gaultier and Olivier Rousteing walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 06, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
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