jean paul gaultier

Masterpiece Fall 2001 Jean Paul Gaultier Runway Haute Couture Beaded & Embroidered Pant w Silk Jersey Top Set

Jean Paul Gaultier's illustrious career spans decades. His first show was in 1976 and his avant garde designs quickly gained him the reputation of being fashion's 'l'enfant terrible'. His designs mixed cultures with abandon, gender norms were blurred through his pieces and the body was presented encased in ways unimaginable prior to his brilliant vision. In 1997 he entered the sanctified world of Haute Couture and for just over two decades produced stunning work cumulating with his final show for Spring 2020. His pieces of couture rarely come to market and I am very pleased to have this unbelievably beautiful ensemble. This was look 33 for the Fall 2001 Haute Couture presentation entitled 'China and Spain'. For this season Gaultier combined elements from those two countries in a beautiful homage. Pieces from this collection were featured in the The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit of 2013 and to have a piece available for purchase is almost as rare as being able to have bought it as a couture client in the first place. After the show Gaultier said of this collection “I wanted to do something more sensual than sexy. The idea was to bring together everything that you imagine when you think of China and Spain—theater, movement, color, history and richness.” The twin of this look was worn by Alec Wek on the runway with a huge red bib neckpiece over the top. We believe that this may have been the only piece ever produced beyond the runway set. 

It is extraordinary to think that Jean Paul Gaultier has only produced a Haute Couture line for two short decades given his long career. Like most Haute Couture, this is a set that only truly comes to life when it is on an actual body and the reference photos and video show you just how amazing it is on. The pants are a work of art. They are heavy and densely beaded with glass tube beads in tightly spaced rows to cover every inch of the pants. Worked in and among the sequins are brilliantly coloured hand embroidered flowers. These trail over the pants and wrap around the legs. The work to place each of these beads individually and do the embroidery would have taken hundreds of hours to complete. They are cut with a flat front and straight leg that gets a touch wider by the hem. When you the light catches the beads and the colours of the embroidered flowers is fantastic. The top is made out of a fine black silk jersey. It closes with a complex mix of a hidden zipper front and two separate areas of silk covered snaps and hooks. It wraps around the body and drapes down one side. The collar is high and you can see the nod to China within its shape. Each sleeve is incredibly long and they are meant to be pushed up to create a row of rounded gathers forming around the entire lower part of the arm. I love the long trailing panel of the silk jersey set on one hip. It falls over that pant on that side to the floor. It is meant to have a nod to the trade de luces cape, which is part of the traditional clothing that Spanish bullfighters wear. It is a brilliant piece of Haute Couture and is everything you want to see in a Haute Couture piece. It appears to have never been worn or worn very little. Excellent condition. 

The upper portion of the top is lined in silk and it zips to close at the inside front. A jersey panel wraps over this and closes with a series of silk covered snaps and hook & eye along the side near the neck. More hook & eye sits along the waist and hip area on that same side. The pants are fully lined in a silk and close with a hand set zipper. Made by hand to Haute Couture standards. Proper Couture tags on both pieces.

Sleeves: 45.5" and push up to wear
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Interior waist: to 13" flat across from side seam to side seam, inner waist stay hooks at 14"
Hips: open
Length: 29" from neck to shortest point of the front side, 37" to longest point of the back
Hip swag: 47" from waist to longest point of the hem

Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 42" from top of bodice to waist
Inseam: 30" from inner seam to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3581

Reference Photos/Video: Alek Wek for Fall 2001 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Collection.

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