By Ada Yakobi and Katia Ostapets
Fashionistas dressed in nautical stripe shirts overtook Holt Renfrew in Montréal on Saturday, as Jean Paul Gaultier made his first personal appearance in Canada.
The event was held to honour the opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition that will be unveiled at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts on June 17, and celebrates Gaultier’s 35-year career in the fashion industry.
Gaultier has had a longstanding partnership with Holt Renfrew, allowing Canadians to bask in his glamorous and incredibly imaginative pieces for 23 years. In tribute, Canadians can now add some Gaultier to their wardrobes by visiting Holt Renfrew to purchase limited edition Gaultier pieces that include signature striped T-shirts, umbrellas and teddy bears.
“Creative, extravagant and artistic” is just one way that Michelle Stein, the president of the AEFFE group, summed up the extraordinary works of Gaultier.
“Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring/summer 2011 collection possesses a cage theme,” she added. “He always does an amazing combination of wonderfully structured jackets. There are also a lot of woven open-back pieces and open sleeves that he combines with bright prints that are often fabricated in a wonderful stretch tool fabrication. There is also an element of trompe-l’œil that was present in this past collection.”
Meanwhile, Jason Morikawa, a buyer for Designer Womenswear at Holt Renfrew, admired Jean Paul Gaultier’s ingenious and expressive individuality and his “sexy, creative and inspirational” style.
“Every piece that I bring into Holt Renfrew is [the one] I love, and I hope that someone else in the market will love it as well.”
Holt Renfrew’s second floor quickly filled up with over 500 patient and eager fans on Saturday, all carrying huge pink bags filled with Gaultier’s limited edition pieces for autograph signing.
However, some fans deemed their books, records, arms and a Hermès Birkin bag, more suitable possessions to be signed.
One fan even decided to get the tattoo of Jean Paul Gaultier’s signature after the event.
Gaultier’s arrival was greeted with a voluble applause and the room was instantaneously filled with his bright smile and extraordinarily amicable persona.
For the next two hours, Gaultier was signing autographs, laughing, kissing and hugging all of his fans, while happily sipping a cup of tea.