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“We know Jean Paul and we know the loudness and the music and the styling. Sometimes you get so distracted by it that you lose the essence and purity of his immaculate work,” Haider Ackermann said before the haute couture show he designed for Jean Paul Gaultier on Wednesday evening. “He was very precise in his tailoring. All the construction, when I go to the archive, it’s just sublime. I wanted to bring back this purity.” The fourth collection under Gaultier’s seasonal invitation concept, it was the most minimal to date: ravishing razor-sharp suiting, exquisitely sculpted evening tops and dresses, and sportswear amplified through the techniques and fabrication of haute couture. “You have to look at the feathers,” Ackermann said, referring to the plume that exploded from the necklines of suits. “It’s beyond beautiful. In 1987, Jean Paul did his first couture show and one of the looks I really remember was a black tailored jacket with parrot feathers. It always stuck in my mind. So, when they called me, it was the first thing I thought about.”

With his BFFs on the front row – Tilda Swinton, Timothée Chalamet, Daphne Guiness and Catherine Deneuve to name a few – Ackermann’s enrapturing silhouettes and poetic soundtrack (which included a song written for Mahsa Amini) was a welcome reminder not just of Gaultier’s eternal genetics but of Ackermann’s excellence and inimitable aesthetic. “It’s all about the pure lines. Everyone isn’t screaming for attention out there,” he said, referring to his runway. “I just wanted to do a small show, just a few guests, and honour this man who gave me this beautiful chance.”

Photography courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier..