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Paris Fashion Week: Jean Paul Gaultier does elder-chic

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Here today, gone tomorrow. Last season it was curvy women whom Jean Paul Gaultier ‘celebrated’ on his runway. And this season it was women of a certain age.

The first model to step out was comedian Valerie Lemercier, who is in her mid-40s and apparently France’s answer to Tina Fey. She vamped her way down the runway and stripped off her coat.

The rest of the models followed suit, all sporting gray bouffant hairdos. The look Gaultier seemed to be going for was Mrs. Robinson-meets-Auntie Mame. (In other words, the hidden-gray population with the means to buy designer clothes.)

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So, the clothes were bourgeois bordering on bad taste. A fur-trimmed silver brocade tunic and matching pants, nubby tweed lady suits and kitten heels were an elegant 1960s throwback.

But there were a few more unusual flourishes, too, namely sparkly catsuits, and foldable fur grocery carts, which seemed to have been designed as a middle finger to the fur protesters on the street outside.

Of course, there were plenty of Gaultier standbys to round things out, including sharply tailored jackets and trench coats.

-- Booth Moore in Paris


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