Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gaultier et son Peau d'Ane

Do you remember Peau d’Ane, the 1970 collaboration between Jacques Demy and Catherine Deneuve that retells Charles Perrault’s classic but creepy fairy tale?

It’s a gorgeously costumed film, in which the designers created elaborate princess dresses that mirror the color of the sun, the moon, or the sky.

The heroine however, spends much of her time clad in a donkey skin, which is, in a still from the film, rendered strangely beautiful, not unlike a vintage Sheila Metzner photograph.

This ensemble from Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest collection reminded me of la belle Catherine, bundled up in a postmodern peau d’ane.

Although Gaultier’s homage may be utterly unintentional, last year Valerie Lamontagne, a Montreal artist, exhibited three dresses based on this film.

Might French fairy tales be the inspiration for FW08?


ambika said...

I actually saw this in the theater after our local alternative paper recommended it. Between the blue footmen and helicopter ending, I thought I was on drugs.

But I love the runway interpretation.

K.Line said...

I love the parallel you've drawn between the film and the collection. Very apt. K

miss cavendish said...

Well. I just was browsing the NYT and decided to click on the International Herald Tribune's coverage of the Paris fashion shows.

There I received a happy surprise: Jean Paul Gaultier actually did design his collection with Peau d'Ane in mind.

So--good on Gaultier! His references were readily recognized by this fashion reader--without a press kit to explain them.

enc said...

I'm afraid this film wasn't on my radar when it came out, but I do see the link. Good job connecting the two. I love that look.

riz said...

I too will check out the film. I feel like a broken record sometimes, because I keep repeating that Gaultier is severely underrated (as a coutourier especially)