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Jean Paul Gaultier: Fight Club
His new menswear collection makes one thing clear: Jean Paul Gaultier is spoiling for a fight. His Everlast-sponsored runway show was staged around a boxing ring in which corseted kickboxing ladies sparred while male models strutted fight-club-inspired fashion: layered pieces that included flowing, mesh tank tops, belted ringside robes, leather jackets and trousers with protective padding, drawstring jersey pants and zip-front hoodies. Chunky knit scarves emulated the look of sweat towels draped around the neck.
True to the theme, the collection emphasized the classic boxer's physique of strong shoulders and upper torso, chunky cable-knit sweaters, leather motorcycle jackets, double-breasted, peak-lapel suits in sweatsuit gray jersey and even a few cape-like overcoats.
On the bottom, the Gaultier man was pared back and slimmed down, wearing skintight leather pants, baggy boxing shorts, sweat pants or Gaultier's signature man skirts. (If you're going to rock the man skirt, it can't hurt to be schooled in the sweet science, no?)
As in the Dsquared "hockey horror" show in Milan a few days earlier, Gaultier's models were styled to look like bruised and bloodied warriors, complete with black eyes, bloody noses and stitches, and at the finale, Gaultier himself came out looking like he'd gone a few rounds with Clubber Lang. With the John Galliano show also explicitly referencing fisticuff fashion, one had to wonder if there is an attempt by designers to underscore the masculine aspects of their collections and appeal to a wider customer base, or if it's simply a subconscious expression of the pitched battle for survival we're all feeling. Click here to see more photos from this runway.