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Gaultier’s TKO: a boxing-themed AW10 collection

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Reporting from Paris -- His Fall/Winter 2010 menswear collection makes one thing clear: Jean Paul Gaultier is spoiling for a fight. His Everlast-sponsored runway show here Friday 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-top T-shirts, belted ringside robes, leather jackets and trousers with protective padding, drawstring jersey trousers 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 sweat suit gray jersey and even a few cape-like overcoats.

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On the bottom, the Gaultier man was pared back and slimmed down; wearing either 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?)

It could have done without the subcutaneous musculature print turtlenecks, which unfortunately seemed more appropriate to Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated people exhibits than in the ring with Rocky.

As in the Dsquared ‘hockey horror’ show in Milan earlier in the week, 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.

When the John Galliano show the next evening explicitly referenced the Muay Thai boxing style (part of a wider Sherlock Holmes inspiration, more than in an upcoming post), I had to wonder if it’s 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.

Of course no one’s going to openly admit that. Everyone knows the first rule of fashion week fight club is not to talk about fashion week fight club.

-- Adam TschornMore Photos from the Jean Paul Gaultier Monsieur Fall/Winter 2010 Runway Collection

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