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Across a fractured catwalk that mimicked a frozen ocean, opulent models strode to an enrapturing soundtrack oscillating between liturgic symphonies and soft, cyberpunk sounds. Their bedecked brows and blood red rhinestone lips looked as if they’d been pricked by the thorn of a rose. Some of the girls actually carried a single, silver-plated rose at their nave, and this floral affair carried through to quintessential conical brassieres which were reimagined as devilish curling (t)horns inspired by the thorns of a rose. It was Simone Rocha’s take on a Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture collection, and it was everything we ever could have asked for… and more.

There were plenty of Georgian tutu skirts, petticoats, crinolines, pearlescent fringes and sailor caps. Ruched bloomers were worn with abbreviated single-breasted blazers with bias ruffled or bedazzled breasts. An organza jacket and pannier crinoline skirt were inscribed with hand-painted “Les Tatouages” motifs. Huge, open-back gowns exploded over bustles of black or white tulle, disrupting the sweetness of silhouettes. A black taffeta gown with ‘œuf’ pannier hips and a mermaid skirt blossomed with 2000 blood red dandelion pappus poms, as if to pollinate pearl-covered attendees. Wispy bows made of faux suspendershuman hair, Queen Anne’s lace and ‘chignon’ earrings tapped into that same subversive wit that named Gaultier the ‘Enfant Terrible’ of French fashion. Rocha even reimagined the classic Marinière with sailor strips made of satin ribbon that stretched across transparent illusion tulle. Worn with ghillie brogues, plexiglass platform heels or toe-curling crakows, the one-off couture collection was utterly enchanting.

You couldn’t help but delight in the craftsmanship lavished on the pieces – it was like baroque fairytale ravished by romance.