Fall 2001 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Heavily 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. 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. I was very pleased to have found the reference photos and video so that it shows you just how amazing it is on. The pants are a work of art. They are incredibly heavy. They have been densely beaded with glass tube beads in tightly spaced rows to cover every inch. Worked into the sequins are the brilliantly coloured flowers that you see. These are all hand embroidered and trail over the pant legs, wrapping around them to act as a living wall of art. The work to place each of these beads individually and do the embroidery must have taken hundreds of hours to complete. They are cut with a flat front and straight leg that is quite wide. So when you move they move and this adds another element to the design as the light catches the beads while the colours of the embroidered flowers burst around you. The top is made out of a silk jersey and my client ordered it in a solid black. It is ingenious how it closes with a complicated array of a hidden zipper front with two separate areas of silk covered snaps and hooks. I have included some photos of the stages of how it closes for you to see. It wraps around the body and drapes to the one side. The collar is high and you can see the reference to China with its shape. Each sleeve is incredibly long (see the third last detail photo before the label) and when they are pushed up the create a design detailing in themselves with a row of rounded gathers forming around the entire lower part of the arm. I love the long trailing swag of fabric that is set on one side. It cascades over the pants and to the floor. This panel of fabric elevates the design even more and gives it that Gaultier feel of going against the norm. It also has a nod to the trade de luces cape, 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; elegance, breathtaking beauty and a dash of avant garde. 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 snap and hook & eye along the side near the neck and also along the waist and hip area of that same side. The pants are fully lined in a silk and close with a hand set zipper. There may be the occasional bead missing from the pants. All the interior work is done by hand to Haute Couture standards. Proper Couture tags on both pieces. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Sourced from the original couture client
Sleeves: 45.5" and push up to wear
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"
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
Reference Photos: Alek Wek for Fall 2001 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Collection.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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